Darron Price, the man whose alleged hash oil operation is suspected of blowing up his home and killing his wife, has been ordered released to home detention. It’s unclear what home he has to go to, but a neighboring family is also very much without a home.
It’s been an eventful last 24 hours in the case of the February 9 Sunset house explosion on 22nd Avenue that blew up that household and severely damaged five neighboring homes, and also killed a 51-year-old disabled woman and severely injured her caretaker. (The incident also shut down BART the next day, as law enforcement transported toxic containers from the scene). The victim killed turned out to be the wife of suspect Darron Price, who was arrested two days later on suspicion of manslaughter, drug manufacturing, and child endangerment, and was allegedly cooking some form of narcotics in the household. And in the last 24 hours we learned that Price was allegedly cooking hash oil (not PCP, as was originally reported by SFPD), and that he had prior burglary charges from 1993, and he was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in San Francisco Superior Court.
And another surprising development came at that hearing today. KTVU reports that Price was granted bail, even though “Prosecutors sought to deny bail, saying he was a flight risk because Price has dual citizenship in the United States and Australia.”
The man accused of killing his wife, wounding her caregiver and destroying a neighbor's home when his San Francisco house blew up may be released from jail, a judge ruled Friday. https://t.co/d80PWjP1PM— KTVU (@KTVU) February 17, 2023
The Chronicle adds that the judge “ordered the release of Darron Price,” though they additionally report that “the process to release Price would begin Friday but that it would likely take several days for him to actually leave custody.”
A San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered the release of Darron Price, the man accused of running a controlled cannabis laboratory in his basement that caused a deadly explosion last week that killed his wife. https://t.co/wvLVTmCVp3— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) February 17, 2023
There are still a number of conditions to Price’s release. Per the Chron, “Price will have to submit to searches of his person, electronic devices, residence and vehicle at any time, without probable cause. His home detention will be monitored by the Sheriff’s Office and he will be required to surrender his passports.”
Price is barred contact from his former neighbors and the burned homes, unless accompanied by legal counsel. He’s also allowed to see his two teenage children, who were not home at the time of the blast, and is allowed to attend his wife’s funeral.
“Mr. Price would never knowingly do anything to harm his family,” deputy public defender Sierra Villaran said at a Friday hearing. “I don’t think that anybody understands the gravity of his case more than Mr. Price.”
David Garth was working in Oakland when a fire ripped through his family’s home and destroyed everything.— Jordan Parker (@jparkerwrites) February 17, 2023
“It all gives you some perspective,” Garth said. “Possessions come and go, but what’s more important is my daughter.”
My latest for @sfchronicle. https://t.co/E7RzoBb3oD
Well, a few neighbors might argue with that; namely, those rendered homeless by the blast. The Chronicle separately reports on the plight of the neighboring Garth family that lost their home because of the blast, though they were fortunately not home at the time of the deadly fire. But they’ve lost plenty, including irreplaceable “antiquarian Jewish books and prints.” A GoFundMe for the Garth family is up online, as their house is inhabitable.
“We do want to stay in that neighborhood. We really put down roots, and it would be very sad to leave,” David Garth told the Chronicle. “But you know, especially in San Francisco, when you lose your housing, it’s often next to impossible to find something at the same price.”
Darron Price is scheduled to appear in court again next Friday.
Related: New Video From Next Door Shows Moment of Sunset Home Explosion [SFist]