The Richmond Register

Local News

October 24, 2008

Couple indicted for motel meth-making

Others indicted on drug-related charges

A Berea couple who was arrested after an alleged methamphetamine lab assembled in their motel room caught fire has been indicted by a Madison County grand jury.

The incident occurred Sept. 1 at the Knights Inn Motel at 1688 Northgate Drive in Richmond.

Officers from the Richmond Police Department were called to the motel at 1:25 a.m. to investigate a fire. Once they arrived, they discovered heavy smoke coming from the open door of Room 323, said Sgt. Willard Reardon, public affairs officer.

Officers made sure no one was in the room and the fire was extinguished by the Richmond Fire Department.

“At that time, we didn’t know what we had,” said Corey Lewis, RFD public affairs officer. “It was just called in as a regular fire.”

After the smoke cleared, officers found that Room 323 was littered with items commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, including pseudo-ephedrine, Coleman fuel, rock salt, lithium batteries, ammonium nitrate and several Mason jars, Reardon said.

Amidst the chemicals were baby bottles and pacifiers, signs an infant had been staying in the room, Reardon said.

An investigation revealed that the room was rented to Tina Price, 30, and Randall Lainhart, 37, both of Parker Lane in Berea. Police said when the couple rented the room, they were accompanied by an infant.

Absent from the motel when officers responded to the fire, the couple was not immediately located.

However, Price, Lainhart and the 9-month-old daughter returned to the motel at 7:15 a.m., Reardon said. The couple was detained, questioned and later arrested.

The infant was taken to Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center where she was treated for chemical inhalation. She later was released into the custody of her grandmother.

Three police officers who worked to clean up the scene also were exposed to methamphetamine chemicals. All three were treated at Pattie A. Clay and released.

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