Suspects from fatal meth lab explosion plead guilty

Published: Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:11 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2013 at 8:36 PM EDT
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Abernathy (left) and McCabe. (Source: BCSO)
Abernathy (left) and McCabe. (Source: BCSO)

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - The two main suspects charged in connection with a meth lab explosion that killed three people at a Goose Creek apartment complex last year pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday.

Gerald McCabe, 33, and Shonni Abernathy, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and manufacturing methamphetamine.

Both men face 20 years to life in prison.  They will be sentenced on a later date.

The fire happened at the Pine Harbour Apartment Complex on May 31, 2012. It destroyed over a dozen units in the apartment located on Harbour Lake Drive.

Abernathy's daughter, 19-year-old Morgan Abernathy, was one of the victims in the fire, along with a 4-year-old she was looking after, Samuel Garbe. Joseph Raeth, 69, was living in an adjacent apartment at the time of the explosion and was also killed.

Prosecutors said family and friends were recruited by Abernathy and McCabe to buy pseudophedrine to make the meth, which was manufactured in an apartment unit the duo was staying in.

Abernathy and McCabe were taken to the Berkeley County Detention Center, and both have remained behind bars.

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