Woman charged after six pot plants found during apartment fire

Jeff Bobo • Jun 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM

CHURCH HILL — A woman who was arrested Saturday after firefighters allegedly found six marijuana plants on her balcony while fighting an apartment fire was arraigned Monday on charges including manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a drug free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, the Church Hill Fire Department responded to a fire at the Stonybrook Apartments at 734 Ordinance Drive.

CHPD Detective Kevin Grigsby said the fire apparently started due to faulty wiring inside the kitchen wall of apartment C-3 where Judy Renee Stanton, 46, resides.

Church Hill city employees, including police officers, also serve on the fire department.

Grigsby was among the first on the scene and observed smoke coming from apartments C-3 and C-4.

"Upon my entering the apartment, no flames were visible," Grigsby said. "Officer Daniel Byington and myself then went to the rear balcony of the apartment in an attempt to locate the fire. While we were on the rear deck, we observed several suspected marijuana plants growing in pots, cups and a metal bucket on the balcony."

Grigsby said the plants, which ranged in size from a couple of inches to about a foot in height, were recovered by police after the fire was extinguished.

Stanton hadn't been home throughout the fire, but arrived home shortly after the fire had been extinguished.

"I advised (Stanton) that I had located the plants, and she acknowledged that she was aware that the marijuana plants were growing on her deck, but they belonged to an ex-boyfriend who she had recently quit dating," Grigsby said.

Grigsby added that Stanton admitted she is now the sole occupant of the apartment.

The residence is less than 1,000 feet from A.S. Derrick Park, which is designated as a drug free zone.

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