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Charleroi couple charged with endangering children to face trial

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 6:15 p.m.

A couple whose three children were removed from their Charleroi home after police discovered a suspected drug lab and “filthy” living conditions was ordered to face trial.

Charged with endangering the welfare of children, Sabrina Braddy, 35, of 932 Fourth St. Ext., waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi.

Her husband, Benjamin Braddy, 34, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Felony counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of children were withdrawn to clear the way for Benjamin Braddy to receive mental health treatment, Charleroi Regional Police Officer Michael Carcella said.

Carcella was called 11:05 a.m. Feb. 24 to the Charleroi Laundromat on First Street, where the couple was arguing loudly, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Benjamin Braddy told Carcella they were arguing because his wife wanted to go to church and he wanted to wash clothes.

Carcella noticed the Braddys' children, who appeared to be dirty and were not wearing winter jackets or warm clothing, despite the outside temperature of 18 degrees.

According to the affidavit, the clothes the children were wearing were “old and ripped,” and the clothing being washed was covered in animal hair and dirt.

The couple told authorities that several years ago, their children had been placed in the custody of Washington County Children & Youth Services.

Carcella contacted CYS social worker Leanne Merrill, who wanted to check the Braddy residence, according to the affidavit.

Carcella and Merrill had to push the door open because dirty clothes and garbage were piled throughout the house.

The odor in the home was “unbearable,” police claim.

State police were called after a chemistry set and suspected methamphetamine materials were found.

Troopers determined the materials were used to make a suspected hybrid strain of marijuana. Three suspected marijuana plants were found growing under a light inside a Plexiglas box, according to the criminal complaint.

CYS took the children from the home and told police the children said they “helped their father cultivate the marijuana plants.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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