OROVILLE — A Chico couple pleaded guilty Wednesday to child endangerment charges stemming from a butane honey oil lab explosion earlier this year at their north Chico home, prosecutors announced.
The Butte County District Attorney’s Office said Evan Palmer, 30, and Brittany Larsen, 28, pleaded guilty to endangering their 5-month-old baby. Palmer additional pleaded guilty to manufacturing butane honey oil.
Palmer faces upwards of eight years, four months in state prison, and he is scheduled to be sentenced May 15, the District Attorney’s Office said. Larsen faces up to six years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced June 5.
Palmer remained in custody. Larsen is out of custody awaiting sentencing.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said in a news release that the couple’s charges stemmed from an incident that happened Feb. 19 at a home in the 2600 block of Burnap Avenue. Chico police responded to the residence for reports of an explosion.
Witnesses told police multiple people ran out of the home immediately after the explosion, Ramsey said. One person was on fire. All the people fled the area.
Officers searched the home and found components used to manufacture butane honey oil, which is a form of concentrated cannabis or hash oil, the district attorney said.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Unit assisted with the investigation and found more than 140 pounds of marijuana, 261 hash oil pens loaded with hash oil, 23 ounces of raw hash oil and a loaded revolver, Ramsey said.
The garage housing the lab sustained major damage in the explosion, including a blown out door, he said. Investigators later learned Palmer and Larsen’s 5-month-old daughter was in the home at the time of explosion but was not hurt.
A third suspect, 26-year-old Jacob Lincoln, has been charged in the incident, the district attorney said. Lincoln allegedly fled the house and was badly burned. He was arrested earlier this month by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and returned to Butte County to faces charges.
He is charged with operating a butane honey oil lab and being armed in the commission of a felony, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Lincoln is out of custody on bail and is scheduled to appear in court May 1, when he may enter a plea.