…as they pulled methamphetamine equipment out of burning fire
Two New York brothers are facing second-degree murder charges for allegedly saving their methamphetamine equipment from a house fire, leaving their 82-year-old grandmother behind to die.
Jarret Gause, 33, and brother, 21-year-old Justin, were charged with the crime in connection to the fire that occurred in the Village of Riverside in upstate New York.
Their grandmother, 82-year-old Gladys Ann Willow, perished when a fire broke out at their residence on Townsend Avenue on May 14.
The woman was found inside the home after fire authorities fought the fire for more than 30 minutes.
She died from injuries she suffered while trapped inside the home, New York State Police explained to the Elmira Star-Gazette.
A follow up investigation – made up of members of the state police and the Steuben County fire investigation team – determined that the residence was used as a site of a meth-making operation.
Justin was initially charged with second-degree manslaughter, first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.
Both were incarcerated and in custody at the Steuben County Jail but Justin has since posted bail.
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said that murder charge does not mean that the brothers intended to kill their grandmother.
He added that it reflects a greater level of recklessness than a manslaughter charge.
Both will be arraigned on the charges in the Steuben County Court.