Teen faces 5 felony charges after explosion at Steamboat Springs condo

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— The Routt County District Attorney’s Office has filed five felony charges against the 18-year-old living at a Steamboat Springs condo where an explosion occurred last month.

Police think the June 13 incident happened while Zachary Slater and a juvenile were making a concentrated form of marijuana called earwax. It is thought they were using butane to make the concentrate, and the butane ignited. Steamboat Springs Fire Marshal Jay Muhme said Thursday that a pilot light inside the condo at The Pines Condominiums could have ignited the butane.

The force of the blast shook the building and shattered and knocked out windows. The four teens inside the condo were treated for injuries, which included burns. One of the male juveniles was flown to a Denver hospital to be treated for injuries and was released two days later.

Slater was the only adult at the condo, which is owned by his parents.

A message left Thursday with Slater was not immediately returned.

Slater on Tuesday was formally charged with conspiring to make marijuana concentrate, a Class 5 felony. He also was charged with four more serious Class 4 felonies. Those charges are manufacturing marijuana concentrate, fourth-degree arson, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a controlled substance.

The fourth-degree arson charge states Slater knowingly or recklessly caused an explosion. The contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge states Slater helped a juvenile break the law.

The possession of a controlled substance charge is related to more than four grams of mushrooms that police reportedly found while executing a search warrant at the condo.

Slater has not been arrested. Instead, he was given a summons to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Stuart Hutton said a 17-year-old male involved in the incident also faces felony charges of fourth-degree arson and manufacturing marijuana concentrate. The teen’s name is being withheld because he is a juvenile.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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