SLO County’s repeat hash lab exploder?
February 5, 2015
What comes around apparently goes around for a Los Osos resident with a liking for manufacturing hash oil in his apartment.
The man severely burned in a hash lab explosion on Tuesday was convicted in 2010 of manufacturing oil in an incident that sparked a fire and injured an 11-year-old boy. [Tribune] Matthew David Culver, 32, was still receiving treatment for severe burns to his face and arms, as of Wednesday afternoon, after using a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze Tuesday.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s investigators say Culver caused the fire around 4:30 p.m. when his hash operation exploded inside his apartment at 1351 Los Olivos Avenue. Detectives plan to charge Culver with manufacturing a controlled substance and elder abuse after he is released from the Fresno burn unit.
An elderly man who leases Culver the apartment was also inside when the explosion occurred, according to a sheriff’s news release. The landlord did not suffer any injuries, but responders transported him to the hospital with heart-related issues.
Culver drove himself to the hospital before medical personnel transferred him to Fresno.
The convicted hash manufacturer is currently out on bail for a charge of selling more than 25 pounds of marijuana. The arrest occurred on Jan. 23, and he pleaded not guilty on Jan. 28.
Culver’s 2010 conviction stemmed from an oil lab explosion that caused a fire in a Templeton residential trailer in Nov. 2009. Sheriff’s detectives say that the 11-year-old boy, the son of Culver’s then-girlfriend, often assisted him with the hash oil production.
The boy told detectives that he was helping Culver mix the oil in a bowl when it tipped over on the stove. The young teen suffered minor burns to his face, and Culver put out the fire by breaking a window in order to run a hose into the house.
Culver has a list of local felony convictions that date back to 2005 and include petty theft, receiving stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm.