The mother and boyfriend of a 19-year-old woman who died in an apartment fire in June in Goose Creek were arraigned on federal charges on Tuesday in Charleston.
Alberta Pierson, 35, and Michael Still, 19, were charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The pair had been charged by the state with conspiracy to manufacture meth in June. Pierson had also been charged with unlawful neglect of a child.
Pierson’s common-law husband, 39-year-old Shonni “Scooter” Abernathy, and a family friend, 33-year-old Jerry McCabe, were arrested in June on charges of attempting to manufacture meth and exposing children to meth-making materials.
In July Abernathy and McCabe were charged in federal court with conspiracy to manufacture meth, endangering life by manufacturing meth, and manufacturing or distributing meth on the premises where individuals under 18 are present and live.
Three people died in the May 31 blaze at Pine Harbour Apartments on Harbour Lake Drive. The fire destroyed a 16-apartment building.
The bodies of Abernathy’s and Pierson’s daughter, Morgan Abernathy, and the cousin she was babysitting, 4-year-old Sammy Garbe, were found later in the ruins. Also found in a neighboring unit were the remains of 69-year-old military veteran Joseph Raeth.
All four of those charged appeared in federal court on Tuesday. Pierson and Still were released on bail. Abernathy and McCabe, who remain in custody, were required to attend the hearing for procedural reasons.
Read more in tomorrow’s edition of the Post and Courier.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.