Pot in baby’s room wasn’t ‘just a plant on a window sill’

November 24th, 2009 by

TUSTIN (ocregister)- A man and a woman accused of growing marijuana in a child’s bedroom remained behind bars Friday as police continue to investigate whether a doctor’s recommendation allowing the crop is legitimate.
Stephen Casino, 26, of Huntington Beach, is being held on $200,000 bail and Tina Marie Turrieta, 29, of Tustin, is being held on $25,000 bail.

They are being held on suspicion of child endangerment, said Lt. Tom Tarpley of the Tustin Police Department.

Police officers who visited the home at the Segovia Apartments at 15560 Tustin Village Way made some observations that led them to fear for the safety of Turrieta’s 1-year-old son, Tarpley said. He declined to say what those observations were but said that the marijuana plants in the child’s bedroom were the primary concern. There were also unprescribed pills at the house, he said.

The officers who went to the apartment found nearly two dozen plants, police said. California law limits patients to growing 12 immature or six mature plants per person.

Police took photos of the room for evidence but can’t release them yet, Tarpley said. Asked whether they were more like a marijuana jungle with a crib or just a couple of sprouts in a corner, Tarpley said they depicted a “cultivation operation.”
“It wasn’t just a plant on a window sill, I can tell you that,” he said.
Turrieta has no convictions in Orange County more serious than some traffic violations. Casino has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime violations over a Jan. 15 incident.
Police received a call from Child Protective Services around 3:30 p.m. Thursday reporting a possible child endangerment case, Tarpley said.

Detectives started surveillance at the apartment and arrested Casino when he arrived around 5:30 p.m.
Marijuana is non-lethal even in large quantities, but can cause dizziness, nausea and other unpleasant effects.

Under California law, a person can be convicted for felony child endangerment if he “permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered.”

“Our position is that a marijuana grow should not be in the vicinity of a one-year-old child,” Tarpley said.
Turrieta’s 1-year-old son is in custody at Orangewood Children’s Home.


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