• Woman charged with endangering her three children for presence in hashish-manufacturing home
By Naomi Klouda
A Homer woman was arrested on multiple drug charges relating to an alleged commercial marijuana grow and hashish operation that troopers investigated in connection to the severe beating and death of the family dog.
Rebekah J. Edmunds, 26, was arrested by Alaska State Troopers Thursday on charges of second-degree weapons misconduct, third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, three counts of fourth-degree misconduct and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. All are felony counts except for the child endangerment.
Edmunds lived at the Ruth Way residence with Russell Williams, according to charging documents.
Troopers originally arrested William Chapman, 22, on Sept. 13 in connection with the same case. Edmunds is not implicated in the animal cruelty charges, said Trooper Spokesperson Megan Peters. The third person in connection with the case, Russell Williams, is also charged with animal cruelty and intent to sell drugs. An arrest warrant was issued for him on Sept. 18, though troopers have not yet located him, Peters said.
Chapman was arrested on charges alleging he ‘knowingly inflicted severe physical pain or prolonged suffering on an animal’ after allegedly beating the family dog with a baseball bat.” The medium-sized dog, known as “Bo Duke,” was observed by a neighbor dragging its rear legs, yelping and looking as if it had been hit several times on its face.
The neighbor shot the dog in the head to “put it out of its misery.” When confronted, Chapman said that he and another man were “spanking the dog with a bat” because it had bit a child. Chapman claimed that he had to use a bat because he is a felon and can’t have a gun, according to charging documents.
Several months after the dog beating, on Sept. 12, troopers responded to a separate tip alleging drug manufacture and sale from the Ruth Way home. On the front porch of the house troopers observed a green tactical vest with a handgun holster attached to it. On the back of the vest were several rounds of ammunition for a 12 guage shotgun. Later, troopers found more guns on the premises, including an AK-47. The weapons charges stem from Chapman’s not being allowed to possess firearms, according to the trooper report.
The second anonymous tip had told troopers that marijuana was growing at the residence. In the service of the search warrant, an excess of 25 marijuana plants were located inside the residence and in the outdoor grow. Another 60 starts were found in small planters.
Chapman has been charged with six felony complaints including cruelty to animals, misconduct involving weapons in the second degree, misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree and three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, and three misdemeanor complaints including disorderly conduct, fifth and six degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and a violation complaint of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree.
The troopers originally came to the house in response to the animal cruelty complaint about the dog beating, which happened in July, Megan said. A neighbor heard a dog’s yelps and came to the Williams’ home.
According to the complainant, the dog was beaten with a blue baseball bat and then later shot and killed, troopers said. It was unclear why the person waited so long to report the animal’s death.
Like Chapman, Edmunds was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a minor, weapons charges and drug charges. Troopers found more than four ounces of marijuana drying and stored in the pantry and the freezer in the kitchen. Among marijuana drying and stored in bags, Troopers located a metal PVC tube commonly used in conjunction with the a Butane lighter fluid to extract the oils from marijuana for producing hashish. The total marijuana seized from the residence weighed in excess of 4.1 pounds, troopers reported.
Edmunds is charged for allegedly possessing more than one ounce of marijuana with intent to deliver. She is also charged with endangering the welfare of her children, age seven, two and two months, by leaving her children in the residence with controlled substances and weapons while hashish was being manufactured.
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