Slater couple face multiple felony charges after house fire allegedly reveals meth production

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Slater residents are in custody Wednesday, Dec. 22, and have been charged with felony drug and related offenses, according to Saline County Circuit Court documents.

Kent Cameron Hager, 37, has been charged with class A felony manufacturing a controlled substance and class B felony first-degree arson. Bond is set at $50,000 cash only.

Cindy Lee Hager, 28, has been charged with class C felony endangering the welfare of a child, class C felony possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance and class D felony use of drug paraphernalia. Bond is set at $10,000 cash only.

According to a Saline County Sheriff's deputy's report, Slater police and fire personnel responded to a fire at the Hagers' residence on South Emmerson Street in Slater Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Two children reside at the home, and one child reportedly was in the home when the fire started, deputies said.

Firefighters and police officers observed what they believed to be methamphetamine manufacturing equipment in the home, according to the report.

Sheriff deputies assisting in the investigation allegedly discovered glass jars, plastic funnels, coffee filters, muriatic acid, sulfuric acid, salt, ammonia, pseudoephedrine and parts of lithium batteries -- items they say are commonly used to manufacture meth.

Deputies also allegedly found paraphernalia typically used with marijuana production and consumption, including metal clips, plastic baggies and an electronic scale.

Two officers from the Missouri Fire Marshal's Office responded to the scene, and they determined the fire had started in the master bathroom of the home and spread when burning material was carried through the residence in an attempt to throw it outside, according to the report.

While the investigation was under way, the Hagers returned to the residence and were placed under arrest, deputies said.

Court documents note that Kent Hager is a prior and persistent offender currently in parole for a class B felony possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

If convicted, Kent Hager could face 10 to 30 years or life in the Department of Corrections for each charge.

If convicted, Cindy Hager could face up to seven years in DOC or up to one year in the county jail and/or a $5,000 fine for the child endangerment offense and the possession of chemicals offense and up to four years in DOC or up to one year in the county jail and/or up to $5,000 fine for the possession of drug paraphernalia offense.

Editor's note: Charges contained in reports provided by law enforcement officials are not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting charges must be presented before a jury, whose duty is to determine if the accused is guilty or not guilty of the charges.

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This story has been revised. The original version included a detail that has been removed.

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