Men plead guilty in fatal meth fire case

CHARLESTON (AP) — Two men charged in connection with a Goose Creek methamphetamine lab explosion that killed three people have pleaded guilty to federal charges.


Gerald McCabe and Shonni Abernathy pleaded guilty in Charleston on Monday to conspiring to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine.


Three people died in the May 31 fire, including Abernathy’s 19-year-old daughter, Morgan, and a cousin she was babysitting, 4-year-old Sammy Garbe. Sixty-nine-year-old military veteran Joseph Raeth, died in a neighboring apartment unit.


Investigators found chemicals and other materials in the rubble. Affidavits say Abernathy and McCabe had been making meth the morning of the fire.


Both men could face life in prison when they’re sentenced later.