FARMINGTON — The last man to be sentenced for a house explosion that occurred last year in Farmington is going to spend the next 17 years in prison. Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte sentenced Derek Scheffler, 29, Park Hills, on Friday for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine in a residence where a juvenile resided.
Scheffler pleaded guilty to the charge in April. The other man involved in the explosion, Jason C. Moore, of Piggot, Ark., also pleaded guilty to the same charge in April. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison on June 5.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed charges of first-degree arson and first-degree property damage.
According to police reports, an explosion occurred at 911 Ste. Genevieve Avenue at 8:40 p.m. Feb. 15, 2008, causing part of the foundation to separate from the house.
After firefighters extinguished a small fire in the basement, police found evidence that anhydrous ammonia was being manufactured there. They found empty and melted packs of ammonium nitrate, empty bottles of sodium hydroxide, a crude cooling system and a full propane tank.
During the investigation, police received information that Scheffler and Moore had received burns and had fled to Arkansas.
In his report, Detective Tim Porter said he believes the explosion resulted from “an excess of propane that permeated the basement area in such a way and in such amounts that it reached a dangerous level and came in contact with an ignition source and ignited.”
Police also found other meth precursors. A Wal-Mart security officer told police he saw Scheffler earlier that day shoplifting cold packs which contain ammonium nitrate.
Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.