Drug Explosion Suspect in Justice Court – Woman Said Her Child’s Hair was on Fire [YouTube]
Patrick Wayne Austin appeared in Missoula Justice Court via video from the Missoula County Jail before Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech on Tuesday afternoon, charged with numerous felonies.
Austin, 24, allegedly caused an explosion inside a University of Montana family housing apartment on Sunday, that resulted in minor burns to himself, Virginia Ervin and a 19 month-old girl. According to court documents, Austin was using butane to extract hash oil from marijuana at the time of the explosion, which blew out three windows on both sides of the apartment, and scattered broken glass and marijuana buds outside the apartment.
Ervin told police that she ordinarily removed the child whenever Austin was preparing drugs, but was tired and went into the living room to rest. She said '15-30 minutes after Austin started the extraction process, she heard a loud 'whoosh' and looked up to see the kitchen on fire. She realized then that both her hair and her child's hair were on fire.'
Austin was already wanted on a $20,000 out-of-county warrant from Flathead County for failure to appear on a felony burglary charge.
Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks asked Judge Orzech for a high bail.
"The state would recommend that bail be set in the amount of $50,000 consecutive to the out-of-county warrant that I believe he will be appearing next on," Marks said. "Given the failure to appear charge in Flathead County, and the serious nature of the charges here, I think $50,000 bail is warranted. With regard to conditions, I ask that he have no contact with the victims in the case, and that he not return to university housing, as I believe he is no longer welcome there."
Judge Orzech agreed, and set bail at $50,000. His next appearance in court will be October 28.