McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

January 2, 2014

Drug lab explodes near Savanna school

McALESTER — An explosion of a “clandestine drug lab” just 200 feet from Savanna school has resulted in arson charges against three suspects, officials say.

Mary Kay Darrell, of Savanna and Robert Wayne Zerbe, turned themselves in Wednesday afternoon, while another person charged in the explosion, Cassie Dawn Isaac, of McAlester, remains at large, according to Savanna Police Chief David Spears.

Thursday Spears said he had been working on the case since explosions heard during an August house fire less than 200 feet from Savanna school, brought investigators to the scene.

Felony charges of first degree arson, endangering human life during arson and manufacturing a controlled substance were filed against the three suspects in Pittsburg County Court on Dec. 17, court records state.

Savanna police reported hearing explosions at a house fire at 208 A St., according to an affiavit filed in the case.

Zerbe, Darrell and Isaac and one other person were inside the home at the time of the fire, the affidavit alleges.

Because of the explosions investigators were called to  the scene where a burned metal container with burned lithium remnants and other burned items were found, the affidavit alleges.

Zerbe was hospitazed and later released for injuries suffered during the fire. No other injuries were reported.

Neither Zerbe or Darrell could be reached for comment.

The two are being held are being held at Pittsburg County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

If convicted of the the charges against them, Zerbe, Darrell and Isaac face up to 49 years in prison and $75,000 in fines, court documents state.

A future court date was not set as of press-time today.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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