Laytonville Man Sentenced to 44 Months After Conviction Stemming from Hash Lab Explosion

Press release from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office’s Facebook page:

Maurice Alfredo VionnetA Laytonville man, who in the course of chemically extracting THC from marijuana in a home garage caused an explosion and fire that demolished the house, was sentenced to state prison Friday afternoon. Maurice Alfredo Vionnet, age 40, received a 44 month prison commitment, his having earlier been convicted of manufacturing concentrated cannabis (“honey oil”), child endangerment, and unlawfully causing a fire of a structure, all felonies. The rental home, valued at $400,000, was a complete loss. The local fire department called for law enforcement help when while fighting the fire they discovered a significant number of empty butane cans and other BHO manufacturing evidence at the scene. The child endangerment conviction flows from the fact that the bedroom where Vionnet’s two young [children] slept was directly over the garage where the manufacturing process was taking place and where the explosion and fire originated.

While the public defender argued that Vionnet had only two prior misdemeanor convictions and had learned his lesson, Deputy DA Daniel Madow forcefully argued that the danger posed to the defendant’s family, the responding firemen, and the neighbors was too great of a risk and that Vionnet had legitimately earned his way to state prison. After listening to both sides intently, Superior Court John Behnke ultimately deciding that the extreme danger the defendant posed to his family was just too great. It was also noted that Vionnet stood convicted of punching a Sheriff’s deputy in a separate matter and that “bath salts” were found in his pocket after that arrest.

After leaving the courtroom, DA David Eyster warned that alcohol and BHO labs are not covered by the Compassionate Use Act, that they are a significant danger hiding in our local communities, and that prosecutors will continue to seek state prison sentences for those who don’t heed the warning and continue illegal manufacturing activities.

Our thanks to the first responders in this matter — the members of the Long Valley Fire Department. The law enforcement agencies who investigated these crimes were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force. Fire investigation assistance was provided by Cal Fire. DDA Caitlin Keane prepped the case and would have been the trial prosecutor had this matter gone before a jury.



  • he should have got alot more someone is out of a home, the chidren are scarred for life. get tough

  • My kids have been through enough without ur website dragging their dad through the mud AGAIN!! Pretty shameful Kym

    • I wouldn’t put blame on Kym, that’s like blaming you for picking their father, how dare you! See how that can work, just be their for your children and maybe steer them away from all media and don’t take them to visit cause that’s just terror!grow up a little please, take responsibility and move on;
      Go yell at the guy who sold him the butane, he was the catylist to the whole ordeal, this blog just put out the facts after the matter

    • Sorry Marisa, this is a totally relevant and legitimate news report. The only thing shameful is your multiple posts on this topic. You should have been charged alongside of this guy.

    • Kym is stating only the facts. If your children are old enough to read this article then they are old enough to understand their dad’s mistresses, I mean mistakes. Why bash the first person REPORTING the truth? Was it worth it? And the only person that should feel shameful is YOU. YOU ARE ENDANGERING YOUR KIDS YOURSELF by allowing this type of behavior. P.S. don’t kill the messenger, YOU should have been charged for allowing it in your home. WAIT, FOR DESTROYING SOMEONE ELSE’S HOME. mom of the year just for a high.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Not as shameful as child and community endangerment. This is legitimate news. Your kids’ dad is dragging the family through this. So typical now, blame everybody but the perp. I am sorry for you and the kids, but daddy was willing to risk burning the whole lot of you up for BHO. I see Mendo Co. DA thanks the first responders for saving property and lives. If you had a gram of class and decency you would thank them, too and apologize to the community. That’s not in your
      Skill set. It’s all about you.

    • Marisa, its not Kyms fault their dad fucked up, he could have burnt those kids to death. I’ve made bho more then once, even when I first learned how at 17 off the internet I had enough sense to do it out side and not use an open flame any were near the highly explosive butane. With the duds history I would say he earned a time out to reflect on his lack of personal responsibility.

    • It says SENTENCED, which the court does on the facts available to it. Apparently the facts available to the court, as set forth in the press release, resulted in the sentence. The opportunity to present competing arguments has passed, and an appeal is the only available relief now.

  • It’s a matter of public record that the house was worth no where near 400k, u can look it up on zillow. That being said, he was not in the midst of doing anything, and there was never any manufacturing at the home. Do you know what happens when u put hash in the fridge? Days old and supposedly evaporated hash is still flammable apparently. How many people do u know that keep their hash in the freezer so that it doesn’t melt? A lot. This is a lesson..,no matter how old it is, don’t do it. It is still flammable. He was asleep, as were all of us when the fire started.

    • You were all asleep? So he did endanger the children and you. Who cares what the house was worth? It wasn’t yours to destroy. No wonder landlords here are such jerks. They have to worry about tenants like you. Wake up. You and your guy brought this upon yourselves. Live with the consequences and try to do better rather than blaming everyone else.

    • That’s even more proof he’s not educated, he brought unfinished product in your home!! He put you ALL in danger, finished oil DOES NOT melt. It’s called shatter! Otherwise it’s a toxic bomb and you guys are solid proof, he should get double after your admittance of the truth.

      • I have no idea what caused the fire. Being as I’m not a firefighter, nor am I a fire investigator, I have to go with what was told to me as to cause of the fire. That being said, my point is that the article itself reads as if the prosecution wrote it, it is full of inaccuracies and is not a good representation of what actually happened in that courtroom.

    • It takes three things to have fire, Oxygen, fuel and heat. The hash might have had some fuel, but the freezer or fridge would not have oxygen or heat. The amount of fuel left in the hash must have been off the charts if that is what you are claiming. Must have been pounds of soaking wet with BHO hash. Now explain the heat and oxygen. You claim everyone was asleep so building up fumes being sparked by the light coming on is ruled out. Since I want to believe your story, I wont go into a rant about protecting the innocent children. The children come first!

    • Maybe the cop he beat up started the fire?

      Reasonable doubt.

  • This guy did what he did. No dragging him through the mud. He needs time to think about what he did. I am thankful he will be out of society.

  • There are more inaccuracies in this “press release” than I care to argue with, but we don’t have two daughters either. If ur gonna print Bullshit, u are no better than the idiots over at loco

    • This blog printed a press release. Do you understand what a press release is?

    • Please go back to loco, this is for adults, you sound very childish and have no concerns for the safety of your children either, in Respect for Kym I will no longer get onto you about this, but goodbye✌️

    • Marisa, the war on drugs has a lot to answer for. That said, this is not a journalistic report but a press release put out by the Mendocino District Attorney’s office. Every time I put out something that is not my work, it states it at the beginning plus the piece is inset into a pale yellow box with a green stripe down the left side.

    • You are the weakest link, GOODBYE!😟

    • Geez, whatever happened to people owning up to the consequences of their actions (or poor decisions)?

  • Hey guys,
    I just want to throw out there I happen to know this man. He is a kind, caring and thoughtful person who is extremely dedicated to his family and community. I think this article is pretty slanted and the author probably could have done a much better job presenting an unbiased account of what happened. She also could have probably done better research (ie. Maurice has a daughter and a son… Not two daughters.). It’s just the mark of an amature blogster and nothing worth getting too irate about. Honestly, quite frankly, if your not directly involved, it’s probably not your business anyway.

  • What I like about this picture? Guy looks reflective. His downward eyes makes me think he’s shamed by being exposed as a dumbass. Why do I like that? Because that is where new ways of thinking and new behavior come from. Maybe he’s thinking about his children and their welfare and how he’s going to miss them? I hope he takes this as a wake-up call and pushes through his ordeal to become a better person. I’m not sure Marissa is learning anything! Pushing the blame away from yourself is not helpful in becoming a better person. And we can all be better. I got popped for weed and did a couple years. It sucked but I took responsibility for being dumb enough to get caught, rearranged my ego and I learned a lot. I’m back in the legal, medical scene and more respectful for the experience (I hope!). Guy royally screwed up but I hope he can rise out of this a better father and a happy man.

  • His family just might see him sooner than later. Wearing an orange jumpsuit holding a weed whacker on the side of the freeway.

  • Kym just printed what ever BULLSHIT the DA is spewing out in the form of a press release. The Mendo deputy DA who prosecuted the case is the one who wrote that load of crap. Some people will just publish anything to fill their pages. A real reporter would check her facts before she just blindly accepts ( and publishes) the word of a corrupt DA’s office and drags someone through the mud. There are reasons why some of his Deputy DA’s have left and are now in the Public Defenders office. There are quite a few inaccuracies in this press release. There was no evidence with regard to a “hash lab”, just a few empty BBQ Butane canisters in the bottom of a trash can outside the garage. No proof of how the fire started. As for the landlord he had fire insurance that paid all but $11,000. of which Maurice has to pay in restitution. Maurice was railroaded by a gung ho deputy DA, just out of law school, trying to make a name for himself. If this was an arrest press release that is one thing, but to put out a press release after the sentencing… shows that he’s trying to make a name for himself. Maurice pled “no contest” to save his family from the ordeal and expense of a trial. He was never found guilty!! In sentencing the judge said that had it not been for the assault on an officer charge he would have gone home to his children with time served and probation. As for “punching a cop” Maurice was found unconscious in a parking lot 15 minutes after being seen and video taped stone cold sober talking to the kids Mom at her place of employment. He got roofied at Wheels, (where he drank less then one beer), as did two other people there, and three in Garberville a few days later ,suspected by same guy. What ever was found that they are calling “bath salts” was found in the same parking lot as Maurice, not on him. When the officers found him unconscious they never checked to see if he was having a medical emergency or injured. Nor did they do any kind of toxicology. They grabbed him and in the process of being manhandled, in his unconscious state, he flailed his arm and hit the cop, where upon they promptly tazered an unconscious man three times. The cop even said is was an accident. To all you haters out there… I pray that you nor any of your family or loved ones get caught up in an unjust situation like this.

    • If Dana isn’t lying .. Sounds like with his luck, it could be raining pussy and ol Maurice would get hit by a dick.

    • #whitelivesmatter

    • While I agree with your premise that the justice system in the US is anything but just, attacking the blogger for posting something relevant to this community just makes you look unjust. I would love to know the true story on the case. Why don’t you bird dog the facts of this story and write it up. As it is we are only getting one very biased side of the story. The story says a significant number of butane canisters, you say only a few: how many, and what was he doing with them?

      The bottom line here is these labs are a huge danger to the public. Making an example of someone like this was a good idea. Putting that example out to the people is an important part of that “example”. The guy in this story, like so many criminals seems to have extremely bad luck in dealing with the cops, and like most criminals, he is surrounded by people who feel that he is just a hell of a guy who has been misused by the justice system.

      • Too bad, only if we knew of a Reporter who could follow up on this story and discover if any of these new allegations being expressed here are accurate.
        That would be one hell of a story if in fact it were true.
        Oh well.

    • As a small media outlet, I am unable to personally check each press release. What I do however, is clearly state they are press releases, mark them with yellow coloring and a dark green band to make them stand out, and expect my readers to judge how much weight to give to the particular agency putting out the information. This requires readers to take responsibility first for reading and second for posting information to give other points of view.

      Ideally, every word is fact checked in every published piece. In practicality, not even the New York Times does that. To publish any single story if fact checked at the level you are advocating would take days, even weeks, of work and I am basically a one person operation with some part time help, so only one story or so could come out per week. That doesn’t provide very much helpful or any timely information to the community.

      In addition, facts are heavily influenced by what people might want to believe. For instance, you say Maurice was “roofied.” It may be true, but you haven’t offered any evidence that it happened.

      But, this website offers you a space to say it. This website allows people outside of government agencies to voice their opposition to the official version of events. And, that allows us all a little clearer understanding of what is happening in our world.

      • Strange Events… I’m not lying. It’s true. There were many people who were aware of this guy slipping GHB into people’s drinks. It was all over social media to be on the look out for this guy driving ( and living in) a maroon Volvo wagon. One of the women he drugged in Garberville left the bar before it took effect and ended up being in a car wreck and nearly dying. It was “harvest” time and what better way of robbing people than slipping them a “mickey” at the bar and waiting for it to take effect. In Maurice’s case the guy chose someone who is NOT a grower and didn’t have any money.
        Seamus… There were only 4 or 5 canisters. Have you never heard of a camp stove or hibatchi that uses butane??? I agree those labs are a danger, if there had been proof he was making the stuff it would be a different story. He was given a jar of hash oil (that was a few days old) . He put in a refrigerator in the garage because he didn’t want it in the house where his children might find it. He had a valid 215 due to severe nerve damage in his shoulders. He didn’t have any prior record so how can you call him a criminal? I don’t have any love for Maurice, but I think in this case he got a raw deal.
        Kym… a simple call to his attorney before publishing might have been prudent. It’s not a story that needed to be rushed to “print”. Face it… you needed to fill your website and thought this was a good story because it was not written by you, so no liability on your part if it turned out to be inaccurate. I understand, I know how journalism works, I was a photojournalist for 15 years before becoming disabled. There is no proof of being roofied due to the fact that the police did no toxicology and by the time he was released from jail and went to the hospital it had cleared his system. He did go straight to the hospital upon release because he knew someone had slipped him something. The last thing he remembered was getting in his vehicle to go pick up a friend then nothing until he woke up in jail and NO he was NOT drinking.

        • Dana, in a perfect world, I would drive the two and a half hours from my house find the bartender and interview him and all the other witnesses before releasing a book on the case next year. However, I don’t do that for anyone. Nor is it practical for a daily media source with one full-time reporter. When my brother was arrested, I posted the press release from law enforcement. When dear friends are arrested, I print the press releases.

          Let me describe the “simple” call to the attorney you want me to make. First, I would have to determine who his attorney was. Multiple calls and days later (remember this is a weekend) I would finally get the name. Then I would call. Then most likely no one would return my call. And I would call again. Finally, I might get five minutes from a public defender who might remember the case and who might be willing to speak. Most likely, he or she would not speak.

          Then could I publish the press release? What level do I have to go to?

          Your version of the case may be true (though I must say there are some pretty astounding stretches of coincidence happening there) but as a publisher, the version given by the District Attorney has at least the validity that they are giving information that has been determined true in a court of law. And you still have the option of writing your version here and convincing people.

          Has an innocent man ever gone to jail? Of course. Have media ever reported wrongly that innocent people were guilty? Dammit, of course, we have. And it is tragic. But we all do our best with the tools at hand. You may choose to think that the press releases from law enforcement aren’t enough. I know they have limits and I wish I had the manpower and the money to thoroughly investigate every arrest and sentencing that comes across my desk. But I don’t. If you want me to have that kind of manpower, then you (the collective you) need to start supporting journalism with money. Because that’s how we hire people.

          When you read a free media outlet, you are going to have to realize its limitations…. and mine.

          • Keep doing what you’re doing. After a quick peek at the LCO, it’s straight to RHBB. Too bad you don’t have a staff of dozens.

      • I too have heard of people getting roofied in Garberville lately by the same man. Be careful at the bars folks, never leave your drink unattended.

      • Hear hear

    • WOW Dana, Thats IS some GLARINGly inaccurate details. Press Releases are so often filled with hype, inflated numbers and inaccurate details that MOST news sources, do fact checking and do not just print the releases. After reading the release and the comments here, I am terribly confused. I am angry at someone I don’t even know for putting children in danger. Then I read that much of it is wrong. What GOOD does releasing news in this manner (RAW PRESS RELEASE UN-FACT-CHECKED)do?

      Kym: I know you have limited time and much to do, but I remember other times I have asked you to please fact-check press releases before publishing them. We could have waited till Monday or Tuesday, to read about this. Checking multiple sources by making phone calls and checking all available online sources. That is reasonable. Hurting families of victims (as in the stinking body in Rio Del), or families of the those convicted, should not just be written off (like the government treatment of innocents killed in war) as collateral damage to your journaling. Please, please fact check all press releases.

      So does the family members, who were actually there, and know the correct DETAILS, get equal time and space to make their case in the public forum? No, they are just CONDEMNED now and forever… by an inaccurate press release? Maybe you should of at least talked to them and got their story to add to this.

      • Traci, What makes you say the press release is inaccurate? It’s the comments of people writing in. How did you read those comments? On this website which gives people a chance to rebut the official story.

        The press release represents the official version. The comments allow people to present their own versions. Readers then can relate this to their own values. Some people who hate the government will discount anything posted by a government agency. Some people who trust the government will believe every press release wholeheartedly.

        What readers should do is read critically.

        The commenter calling herself Marissa appears to be the wife of the convicted man. If she is that woman, then she presumably has the most accurate information about the number and sex of the children. Do you believe everything else she says? Does she know everything? Do family members always tell the truth about the family member’s behavior? Do they always know the truth?

        Some of the questions that everyone reading should be asking themselves is why was there no jury trial? Why did the judge who presumably has all the evidence before him that I could be reasonably expected to find out rule the way he did?

        If the District Attorney’s Office got the number or sex of the children wrong does that affect your belief in the rest of what they say? If not, should it?

        My intention with press releases is to present information from official sources but I lack the time and resources to guarantee their accuracy. Instead, I offer them as important information that an agency is presenting as fact. The reader can choose to believe it or not.

        I will never be fact checking every press release. If I did, I would still be working on getting all the facts on the first press release to come across my desk. There is a reason trials take months. Trial transcrips are available for purchase if you wish. Or you can continue reading this free online news in which I carefully tell you where each source comes from so you can make your own decision, I clearly mark each press release and I do search out certain stories more completely and give the facts as I can discover them.

  • I don’t think people should be bashing Marisa. HER AND HER FAMILY HAVE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH WITHOUT YOU GUYS SHITTING ALL OVER HER. Show some freaking empathy were all human.

    • Drama and shitting on people sells.
      It’s big business.
      “Reality Telivision – Breaking News – Social Media”.. All big business.
      Peoples lives produce revenue, big revenue.
      Technology has capitalized and captured this big time, this is the world we live in.
      In some circumstances it’s allowed the town gossiper to make a living selling AD Space on subjects some might dispute as “rumors”.
      All depends how you want to slice it.
      Regardless, if you don’t want your 15 seconds of fame, then keep your nose clean out there.

    • Maybe Marissa needs to zip her lip.

    • While I can understand her being upset I must say again- you need to accept some personal responsibility in this situation. The refrigerator did not magically catch fire. If he wasn’t doing butane extraction then he was improperly handling product that was still off-gassing. And directly underneath the bedroom of his own children? That is some unclear reasoning going on. I know- everybody around here is a retarded stoner but that doesn’t make it okay. And yes- DA Eyster is a liar and a crook and the system is wrong. But that is old news and that’s why we try to avoid it- by not blowing stuff up! Again, I hope he gets out early, uses his time there productively and comes back a smarter and better guy. These hills are full of fools but most of us can do better.

  • I just have this to say….You get to pay if you want to play.

  • Maurice’s palls need to cool their jets

    Why are you bashing Kym and her blog? She and it just gave you a venue to state your side.

    Kym should be thanked by y’all advocating Maurice’s innocence … she just gave you massive local publicity to argue against what you deem a wrongful sentence.

  • That part about the town gossip causes me to recall the little house on the prairie episode where Harriet takes up writing for the pen and the plow. I’m sure KK is a better person than old Harriet but it’s still interesting to think about how the dissemination of info can be quite painful to people on the wrong end of the pluma.
    On the other end we all know the damage that has been caused by prohibition, not that a legal batch of wet BHO would have been any different regarding the danger it poses to both the health and the general welfare of society. That shit is pure poison to your body and can be dangerous in many ways. Maurice now knows that better than anyone

  • Im not ashamed to admit, I’ve been to the ol Low Gap Hilton over some dumb shit a few times, learned my lessons, and havent been back in 10+ years. Point being, every. single. time, all I heard were sob stories and excuses from a bunch of whiney crybabies with zero integrity/personal accountability. “It wasnt my assault rifle” “I had no idea the bitch had a bag on her” “that fkn DA, who does he think he is?” I know plenty of people get railroaded by the system, but IME, exactly ZERO of them have been principled, law abiding citizens minding their own biz. “Only 5 canisters” “a daughter and SON omg” “hes a great guy” none of that shit has anything to do with…yet another BHO op blowing up and endangering entire communities. get better at your process, pro’s never self-ignite…

  • The insurance company ISN’T going to pay for the damages. Had a rental that made the news stream, and because the damage was from illegal activity they wouldn’t pay.
    The property owner is screwed, the family loses their dad, the wife is turned into a solo parent, and the children have increased odds of wearing bill hats and driving Toyota trucks.

    Sucks all around for everyone, hope he can get it overturned because the sentence is way over the top and may openly violate sentencing guidelines.

    Who cares if he beat up a cop? America was supposed to have been founded on people beating up cops.

    Sounds like the judge was related to the cop that he beat up. You only get 36 months for manslaughter…..

    What a joke.

  • My dad always said “if you don’t want the cops grabbing you don’t give them a handle on you”. Maurice seems to have more handles than a wad of velcro.

    If he is “innocent” how does he earn a living? If he is disabled he will get his drugs free anyway. Why would he need enough hash, that a friend gave him, to blow up his house. If the average person was being railroaded, like Maurices friends claim, they would be screaming bloody murder, not pleading no contest. Fuzzy thinking seems to follow Maurice around. I wonder what kind of drugs he will get in jail?

    • Sometimes cops and uniformed trash drives around with flashing light hardons picking fights.

      Americans don’t wear uniforms, the country was founded on that.

  • It’s ironic that U.S. States are allowed to circumvent U.S. Government Laws regarding Pot and make their own rules and regulations without any consequence. Several State Governor’s decided to refuse to take in Syrian Refugees. The potential for innocent Americans being injured or killed in either instance is overlooked. If you disagree with U.S. Laws, make strides to change them or get out of MY Country.

  • This is the rough time we’re in. I hate prohibition, and I think no one should do jail time for cannabis. I love Moe, he has a big heart and a loud mouth like a lot of us from that area. If he fucked up, he should do his time, but I don’t agree with that sentence one bit. The law states patient may consume, provide, and posses concentrated cannabis, yet you can’t extract it. It’s making a demand that is that legally cannot be filled. It makes for good easy prison money. Like I said, if he fucked up he should pay his dues, but it’s endangering his children more from the lack of a father for four years. I think a little county time or probation would be enough. That’s my two cent. Marisa, keep your chin up. Try today off line, it will only piss you off. Love to you and the family.

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