This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Man at fault for cooking meth near girlfriend's kids (Washington)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A man who cooked methamphetamine around his girlfriend's children is criminally responsible for endangering the kids, even though they weren't his dependents, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The case stemmed from the 2003 arrest of Richard Cooper, who had been sought by Columbia County authorities on a parole or probation violation.

Sheriff's deputies caught Cooper at the home of his girlfriend, Mylynda Daudt, where they also found a working meth lab and Daudt's two children, ages 2 and 4.

Cooper was convicted of several drug-related charges at trial, including two counts of endangering a child by exposing the youngster to meth. He appealed the endangerment convictions, saying he shouldn't be held responsible for endangering the children because he was not their father or caregiver.

The Supreme Court disagreed 8-1 on Thursday, with Justice Bobbe Bridge writing that the endangerment law "applies to any person who knowingly or intentionally exposes a child to methamphetamine or its ingredients."

The law in question states that a person may not expose a dependent child to meth or ingredients used in its manufacture.

Cooper's appeal argued that legal definitions of "person" and "dependent child" mean the meth endangerment law does not apply to him, because he was not the children's father and had no formal relationship as their caregiver or provider.

But state lawmakers did not intend to restrict the law only to parents, legal guardians or caregivers when they wrote the statute, Bridge wrote - otherwise, the Legislature would have specified those conditions.

By reading the specific law's plain language - and not inserting any words that aren't included - the court must hold Cooper responsible for cooking meth around Daudt's kids, "who are dependent children by virtue of their tender years."

"He thus knowingly and intentionally exposed them to the drug and its ingredients," Bridge wrote for the majority.

In his dissent, Justice Richard Sanders wrote that the law's language is ambiguous at best.

"One naturally assumes a law criminalizing the endangerment of dependents addresses their custodians. And reading the statute in context only confirms that assumption," Sanders wrote.

Majority justices sent Cooper's case back to a lower court for resentencing on a separate issue because prosecutors conceded that penalties for drug crimes in a school zone were improperly applied in the case.


The case is State of Washington v. Richard Lloyd Cooper, docket number 76164-7.


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