Half of a Sun City couple that allegedly ran a meth lab in their garage pleaded guilty this morning to child abuse.
Brenda Lipe initially faced five felony charges after she and her husband, Lancelot Lipe, were arrested in April after Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies found out Lancelot had allegedly started some sort of meth-lab-related fire at the home.
According to court documents previously obtained by New Times, Lancelot Lipe gave deputies a "fuck you" when they asked for his ID, slammed a deputy's foot in the door, and refused to help put out the fire before the deputies left because of "availability of resources."
A week later, deputies went to arrest Lipe on a charge of assaulting a police officer, and made a rare sighting for Sun City: a meth lab, according to the court documents.
When detectives entered the house, they were "overwhelmed by a strong chemical odor . . . that immediately caused a burning sensation to both the eyes and throat[,] which caused detectives to immediately leave the area for health and safety reasons," according to the court documents.
Did we mention the Lipes' three children also lived at this home?
According to a statement made by one deputy, the room that the three youngsters lived in was "very close" to where the meth kitchen was found.
Lancelot Lipe attempted to explain that a friend owed him $2,500, so he let his friend cook meth at this place. Lipe allegedly told police his meth-cooking friend had been over at 6 a.m. that day to work on meth-making, and the kiddos didn't leave the house with their mother until 10 a.m. Thus, investigators believed it was possible the youngsters could have been exposed to meth-cooking fumes for four hours that day.
Brenda Lipe came home with the kids as deputies dealt with the alleged meth situation at the house.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Despite the fact that meth was allegedly found in her car, Lipe told investigators she hadn't smoked meth in a "very long time." In a later interview with MCSO, Lipe explained that a "very long time" meant she smoked meth a few hours before that.
Brenda Lipe was booked into jail on three counts of child abuse, and one count each of dangerous drug possession and a dangerous-drug violation charge, although she pleaded guilty this morning to one count of child abuse.
Her husband faces a variety of charges, and according to court records, he's scheduled to go to trial next week.