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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Infant, toddler found in meth arrest; parents charged with child endangerment

March 25th, 2013 3:18 pm by John Thompson

Infant, toddler found in meth arrest; parents charged with child endangerment

ELIZABETHTON — A man who was out of jail on bond while awaiting trial on methamphetamine charges is facing new charges, including child endangerment, following an arrest on Saturday.

David P. Abernathy, 39, and Misty Hope Bennett, 35, both of 116 Flora Dugger Road, were arrested Saturday morning when Deputy Brady Higgins of the Carter County Sheriff's Department came to their residents to serve another arrest warrant.

When he arrived, Higgins said he saw Bennett run inside the residence and Abernathy come outside. Higgins said he also saw plastic soft drink bottles in the yard, bottles commonly used in the "one-pot" method of manufacturing methamphetamine. Higgins found a total of 10 bottles which contained residue.

Two sheriff's department's certified meth lab technicians were called to the scene and positively identified all the bottles as being used in methamphetamine manufacture.

Inside the residence, Higgins said he found two children, aged 8 months and 2 years old. He said they were the children of Abernathy and Bennett. Due to safety concerns of the children, Higgins said the state Department of Children's Services was notified.

At the request of the children's agency, both Bennett and Abernathy were given drug screens and both tested positive for methamphetamine.

Lt. Mike Little responded and spoke with Bennett. He said she admitted that she and Abernathy were frequent methamphetamine users and that Abernathy had on occasion cooked methamptheamine in the residence where the children lived. She said Abernathy had also cooked methamphetamine in the car when the children were in the back seat.

Little said a record's check revealed Abernathy was previously arrested on Dec. 8 on charges of initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine and promotion of methamphetamine manufacture.

Abernathy had been released from the Carter County Jail on Feb. 25 on bond.

The records check indicated that both Abernathy and Bennett had recently purchased cold medicine containing psuedoephedrine, an essential ingredient in methamphetamine manufacture.

Both Abernathy and Bennett were arrested Saturday on new charges of two counts of felony reckless child endangerment, two counts of promotion of methamphetamine manufacture and one count of maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are manufactured or sold.

Abernathy was also charged with initiation of a process to manufacture methampthamine.

They are scheduled to answer the new charges in Sessions Court on April 23.

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