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Culpeper Couple Charged in Domestic Assault & Meth Lab Incident - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Culpeper Couple Charged in Domestic Assault and Meth Lab Incident

Posted: Updated:
Crystal Deavers Crystal Deavers
Robert Hawthorne Robert Hawthorne

Town of Culpeper Press Release
July 11, 2012

Culpeper Couple Charged in Domestic Assault and Meth Lab Incident

Culpeper police responding to a domestic call yesterday afternoon discovered a suspected methamphetamine lab in a home in the 1100 block of Meander Drive.

Police charged Crystal Deavers, 26, and Robert Hawthorne Jr., 23, with numerous felony and misdemeanor charges as a result of the event.

Hawthorne and Deavers stand charged with two counts each of felony child endangerment, two counts each of manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present, one felony count each of possession of materials to manufacture methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count each of domestic assault. Hawthorne faces an additional charge of misdemeanor resisting arrest. More charges may be pending against Hawthorne, said Detective Sgt. Jeff Dodson.

About 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, police responded to a call from a neighbor about yelling and cursing coming from within the house on Meander Drive.

Two boys, ages 6 and 7, were also in the house, along with Deavers and Hawthorne.

As police began to investigate the complaint of domestic assault and looked at the conditions inside the house, they located what appeared to be the beginning of methamphetamine lab in the garage. Chemicals used to make methamphetamine are considered hazardous and volatile. Injury can result to people exposed to those materials.

Police arrested both Hawthorne and Deavers for domestic assault. However, Hawthorne resisted arrest and had to be restrained before being taken into custody. During the arrest,

Master Police Officer Kevin Tooley suffered an injury to a hand requiring treatment at Culpeper Regional Hospital. Other officers and detectives arrived to assist with the arrest.

Once the suspected meth lab was found in the garage, several officers initially responding to the call and the two boys in the home were taken to Culpeper Regional Hospital to be decontaminated.

A second set of Culpeper officers and detectives were called in to handle the situation at the house. DEA, the Virginia State Police, Fauquier County Sheriff's Office and Culpeper Lt. Tim Chilton, who has a certification in meth labs, responded to the scene to document the evidence and cleanup the chemicals.

Officers donning protective suits and wearing breathing apparatus meticulously removed and inventoried items from the garage suspected to be part of the lab.

Police evacuated residents from six nearby homes as a precaution. No residents were injured as a result of the meth lab or the evacuation.

The Culpeper County Sheriff's Office brought its mobile command post to the scene. Deputies also helped answer calls in town while the numerous town officers were tied up with the incident.

Meanwhile, fire units from the Culpeper County Volunteer Fire Department, Brandy Station, Salem and medics from the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad stood by as police and federal agents handled the hazardous materials.

Culpeper Public Works erected barriers to block off the street to prohibit traffic into the area.

Culpeper County Building Official Bob Orr arrived about 6 p.m. to examine the home.

"The meth lab is creating an uninhabitable situation," said Orr.

He proceeded to post a red "unsafe structure" sign on the door saying that the residence was "unfit for habitation." He also ringed the front of the house with red caution tape.

WEL Inc, contracted by DEA, arrived from Concord, Va., to package and to cart away the hazardous materials.

Uniformed officers handled the domestic dispute. The joint sheriff's office and police Street Crimes Unit investigated the alleged drug operation.

Police say this is the first meth lab they recall in town.

"It was a team effort," said Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins. "Without the support of all the agencies and organizations that responded, the incident would not have been handled as smoothly."  

Wally Bunker, Public Information Officer
Town of Culpeper
400 South Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701


Town of Culpeper Press Release
July 10, 2012

Culpeper police responding to a domestic call this afternoon in the 1100 block of Meander Drive discovered a suspected methamphetamine lab in the garage of the home.

Police immediately evacuated the houses surrounding the home and called in DEA and other agencies for assistance.

Officers dressed in protective suits and wearing breathing masks removed items suspected to manufacture methamphetamine outside where a company from Concord, Va. packaged and removed the contaminated materials.

Fire and rescue units and a hazardous materials team also responded.

An unidentified man and woman were charged with domestic assault. The man allegedly resisted arrest. Officer Kevin Tooley injured his hand while attempting to arrest the man.

Two children living in the home were escorted from the home by police and turned over to Culpeper Child Protective Services.

The Culpeper County Building Official arrived on scene and declared the home uninhabitable

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and more details will be available tomorrow.

Wally Bunker, Public Information Officer
Town of Culpeper
400 South Main Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

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