Two men accused of making meth in a Goose Creek apartment where a deadly fire ignited in June are expected to plead guilty in federal court next week.
Gerald McCabe, 34, signed a plea agreement Wednesday, according to federal court filings. McCabe is expected to go before a judge Monday in federal court in downtown Charleston. There, he’s expected to plead guilty to two of the charges in the original three-count indictment: one count of conspiring to make more than 50 grams of meth and one count of making meth, according to court documents.
Shonni Abernathy, 40, of Goose Creek is also scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Monday, but a plea agreement had not been filed. On Sept. 25, Abernathy pleaded not guilty.
The cases of the two other suspects, Alberta Pierson, 36, and Michael Still, 19, remain pending. They were indicted in September and charged with conspiring to make meth. Both were scheduled to change their pleas from not-guilty during a scheduled hearing on Monday, but the hearing was canceled, according to court filings.
Three people died in the May 31 fire at Pine Harbour Apartments on Harbour Lake Drive, including Abernathy’s 19-year-old daughter, Morgan.
The fire destroyed a 16-unit apartment building and also killed the cousin Morgan was baby-sitting, 4-year-old Sammy Garbe, and 69-year-old military veteran Joseph Raeth, who died in a neighboring unit.
Investigators found chemicals and other materials in the rubble. Affidavits say Abernathy and McCabe had been making meth the morning of the fire.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.