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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : regional September 25, 2016

4/12/2014 2:06:00 PM
CPS alerts to kids getting drugs from stepfather
Aaron Foster
Aaron Foster
Elizabeth Lawson
Elizabeth Lawson

YAVAPAI COUNTY -- Yavapai County Sheriff's Office detectives served a search warrant last Saturday as part of a Children's Protective Services investigation at a Paulden home. Three adults were arrested, identified as 32-year-old Aaron Foster, 33-year-old Elizabeth Lawson, and Jacob Owens, aged 21.

Detectives, working with CPS, became aware of safety concerns and abuse allegations of four children ages 13, 9, 7, and 5 who live at the Rio Trail home. Foster, a level-2 registered sex offender, is stepfather to the children, and Lawson is their mother. Owens is a family friend who was at the home when the warrant was served. During a search of the home, detectives allegedly found several marijuana and methamphetamine pipes in a bedroom where all four children sleep with both parents. The home was in complete disarray with trash, debris and clothes strewn everywhere, according to the report. Dog feces were on the floor of an unused bedroom.

According to the report, Foster told deputies he has a meth addiction and smoked marijuana with his 13-year-old stepdaughter. The 9- and 7-year-old children also admitted smoking marijuana given to them by Foster. Lawson told detectives she gave alcohol to the 13-year-old girl and had full knowledge that Foster gave marijuana to her children. She was also aware of Foster's meth addiction.

CPS took custody of all four children. The investigation into specific abuse allegations is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

Detectives confirmed that Foster, a prohibited possessor, was in possession of a 9mm handgun. The firearm was not located during the search but ammunition and two knives belonging to Foster were seized.

Owens was in possession of a marijuana pipe and marijuana.

The three suspects were booked at the Camp Verde jail. Foster was charged with multiple counts of involving a minor in a drug offense, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, misconduct involving weapons, and failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements. Foster remains in custody on a $50,000 bond. Lawson is charged with involving a minor under 15 years in a drug offense and two counts of child abuse. She remains in custody on a $7,500 bond. Owens was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and has been released.

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