VERNON — The Jennings County prosecutor has filed a second Class B felony charge against a Jennings County man being held in connection with a methamphetamine lab explosion that left a person dead.
Prosecutor Alan Marshall filed a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine charge against Lacy Delmer Smith III, 28, of Butlerville, on Wednesday.
Smith, who already was facing a Class B felony charge of aiding in manufacturing methamphetamine, was arrested Sunday on an initial charge of murder in the death of Brian Eugene Short, 39, of North Vernon.
Marshall said he dropped the murder charge because it would have been hard to prove in court and because the investigation shows Short was manufacturing meth at Smith’s house.
Smith has been in the Jennings County Jail since the incident and has yet to face an initial hearing, Marshall said.
Jennings Circuit Judge Jon W. Webster set bond at $100,000.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Jennings County Officer Aaron Green was the first officer to respond to a call about a man who had been burned and was dead inside a truck at 1460 N. County Road 275E.
Green said that, when he arrived, Short’s mother, who called 911 at 4:48 a.m. Sunday, was standing by the truck, crying.
Lacy Smith was standing about 10 feet behind her and also was crying, Green said.
Green said he examined Short, who was curled up inside the truck, covered with a blanket. He was not responsive, Green said.
Green also said Short did not have a pulse and had burns on his stomach, ribcage, the left side of his face and his left forearm.
Smith told police Short was burned in a fire at Butlerville, but he initially would not give the address of that residence, Green said.
He also told police he wasn’t sure how the fire started but mentioned ether might have been involved, Green said.
Smith eventually told police the fire had occurred at a trailer at 1455 N. County Road 750E. That’s also where Smith lived.
Green said Smith reported trying to give Short CPR but that it didn’t work.