Three Arrested for Murder Because of Fatal Explosion in Cannabis Extraction Lab Last November

Rio Dell fire

Flames and smoke rise from home in Rio Dell that was allegedly the site of a fatal fire caused by manufacturing a concentrate from marijuana in November of 2016. [Photo by Vivian Graziose]

This last week, Rio Dell Police quietly arrested one woman and two men for the murder of Xavier David Renner, age 21. Renner died on December 14, 2016 as the result of injuries he received on November 9 when a cannabis concentrate extraction lab exploded on 1st Avenue in Rio Dell.

A detached garage allegedly belonging to David and Tamara Paul caught fire. Three people were badly burned, including Renner. They were all eventually “sent to a burn trauma hospital out of the area,” according to Sgt. John Beauchaine of the Rio Dell Police.

Beauchaine said the Pauls’ detached garage contained “an active concentrated cannabis oil lab which had over 2000 containers of butane.”

On the video below, taken by Desirae Wilson, explosions, probably from the butane canisters, can be heard repeatedly.

The Pauls were allegedly renting their detached garage to Arron Mohr and Xavier Renner in order for the latter two to extract a concentrate from marijuana, Beauchaine explained. Mohr, Renner, and a third unnamed person were at the garage when the place erupted into flames.

Mohr, who had also been burned, was arrested last Wednesday and charged with murder, manufacturing a controlled substance, and manufacturing cannabis using a volatile solvent.

The Pauls were arrested yesterday. “David was arrested during a traffic stop around 12:30 p.m.,” according to Beauchaine. “[Tamara] was arrested around 1:30 at their residence.”

The two were charged with murder, manufacturing a controlled substance, manufacturing cannabis using a volatile solvent, operating a drug house, felony child endangerment, and possession of a controlled substance. After their arrest, their children were “housed with family members,” Beauchaine said.

Note: This death was not originally included in the record number of homicides in Humboldt County last year. This brings the number to 22 by our count.

Earlier Chapters: Structure Fire With Explosion and Injuries in Rio Dell





  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    The wages of Butane extraction…

    Never mind, it’s medicine….

    • Butane laden pot is not medicine. Please stop lumping it all together. If youre sick its especially bad for you.
      But then so are most of the things sprayed/put in our food.
      Pharm “medicine” is still worse on the whole, talk about gross chemicals in your medincine, the fillers for pills are awful for you.

  • Charles Engebretson

    Everyone who knows me knows I ingest cannabis daily…love concentrates but this is out of control…no more oil made with butane…compression hash only…

    • groba dude osnt trustafarian

      Well, THAT’s WAY better…

      Hashish is made with water in many places…

      You don’t need hash, you need rehab…

      Try St Helena Hospital!

  • Glad to hear these charges. I hope they start charging all of the residential butane labs with the stiffest crimes possible. These wanna-be chemists are putting WAY to many innocent, un-involved people at risk with this nonsense.

  • It’s obviously not murder. Given as he was involved himself in the operation, it’s not even manslaughter. This is just a bullshit charge tacked on to try to get a plea bargain. I’m all for throwing the book at people running unsafe hash labs, but let’s make sure it’s the right book. A wide assortment of industrial safety charges (storing a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance, etc) would be much more appropriate, and actually stick when it goes to a jury.

    • A lot of folks agree that that felony murder shouldn’t be charged in an accidental death. However, it is done relatively frequently.

      See this:
      “Defendant caused the death of another person while committing
      the felony

      It’s important to note that the California felony-murder rule will still apply even if the victim does not die immediately, or while the felony is still being committed.19

      For example, if a victim dies of injuries weeks . . . or even months . . . after the felony occurred, the defendant may still be charged with murder.

      Also, it is not necessary that the defendant killed be the intended victim of the felony. If a bystander, police officer, or even a co-perpetrator is killed . . . that too may support charges under the felony-murder rule.”

    • Accident is a relatively fluid idea. Someone can be walking along a side walk when a sink hole opens up under their feet and they fall in. From their position, the falling into the hole was an accident as it was unexpected and unintentional. However from the position of the plumber who installed the pipe not up to code which leaked and caused the sink hole, there was nothing accidential about it. While they may not have intended someone to fall into it, they certainly should have expected the pipe would leak and wash away the surrounding dirt.

    • So does this mean you don’t think a coal mine owner who engages in unsafe practices either intentionally or through negligence shouldn’t be charged with murder if his/her actions result in the death of mine workers?

      I’m curious because it seems like a lot of folks in this region are willing to downplay criminal behavior when it relates to marijuana but not for conventional industry.

      • How about when a epa dam breaks dumping tons of hazmat in to rivers and destorying property and ground water ?

        • Blaming the EPA for that spill is like blaming the Rio Dell Fire Department for the smoke that wafted across the property line of this BHO fire…

      • I think if a coal mine owner maintains an unsafe mine, that results in himself getting killed, his workers shouldn’t be charged with murder. Remember, this wasn’t an innocent person or a worker killed – it was one of the two people running the operation.

  • I have to agree with Bushytails that the facts as related do not indicate murder as we understand the term in English. Possibly there are facts in the investigation that show a deliberate act on the part of those chosen, like lighting the butane, in order to harm or kill someone. Otherwise I would not add this death to your list of homicides unless you intend it to be just a count of people who died in the County. Of course homicides are not all murders, but if you really mean murders by the term, then I’d recheck the list.

  • I think the people over at BHOGHART should be charged with aiding or conspiracy or supplying illegal contraband or frigging something! Every day I go past that storefront on Broadway and wonder why we allow such flagrant criminal activity. They are making bank on supplying the tools of destruction to our community.

  • who sold them the butane?

    Hm… some business sold those 2000 cans of butane, at profit. It would seem that a zealous prosecuter might just as easily charge them with murder. they’d be the only ones taking any money to the bank after all this

  • The State gets to define terms in their legal code. California has defined murder as including “Under California murder law, there is no requirement that you kill the victim in furtherance of the underlying felony. In fact, any death that is logically related to the felony will suffice, regardless of whether it was intentional, accidental, or negligent.” Same reference as cited above.

    • Fortunately we have juries still, who can apply sanity when making decisions. Of course, I bet they’re hoping this case doesn’t make it to one.

    • There was a case a few years ago where during a 2 kilo pot deal, a cop shot and killed one of the people in the deal, who ended up being unarmed. The 2 other people dealing were charged and convicted of second degree murder, even though the cop shot and killed one of them.. It’s law in a lot of states…

  • When you use that cloth to get the hash out work killer and you don’t have to worry about geting blown up

  • roll on January 1st, full legalization should flush many turds out of Humboldt.End the grower greed.

  • From what I understand the guy renting the place was playing around with fire for his friends there. It’s sad but a dumb kid learned not to be stupid and the cost was someone’s death.

  • I see that the victim lingered for nearly 5 weeks in the burn center, what a horrible way to die. Was it ever reported that someone had died as a result of this explosion? I assume follow up on this type of incident is not easy. There was a hash lab fire awhile back were a burned guy never turned up at a local hospital, Mckinleyville I think.

  • What’s sad is the mother was pregnant at the time in her house with her young daughter, with her husband away for work when it happened. I know these people quite well, they might have known about the situation. But blame the people that lit a cigarette and obviously didn’t know the repercussions. No it’s not right that they were renting there garage out. But if your gunna be doing something so dangerous as blowing hash oil. You should first know wtf your doing and what danger come with it. Don’t just you tube some shit and think you know what your doing. Cause just like people have said above. It’s sad that a life had to be taken in this situation, and now more people are dealing with the mess of it.

  • This is all Bullshit and should be investigated a little more.The Paul’s were renting there garage out
    And should not be held accountable for the idiots making hash.they were not even there when it happened.They should not be responsible for someone who obviously didn’t know what they were doing in a result they burned 80% of there body and die two days ago.this is not a drug house nor do they use drugs..two innocent people who work and don’t use the system being wrongfully charged.This shit is a waste of everyone’s time and money and won’t make it to jury trial..

    • First of all, the Paul’s knew what the garage was being rented for. They shouldn’t be running an illegal business if they don’t want to get into trouble. Second of all, don’t you dare refer to any of these three men as idiots. Xavier lost his life and his two close friends not only had to deal with that but are now also being charged for murder. He was my best friend and to see ignorant humans such as yourself talk negatively about him because of charges that he did not place (and trust me if he had a say in it, none of these people would be being charged). Pull it together and have some respect.

  • Hmmm! I wonder if the dead guy being a “Renner” had any influence on the decision to charge these two landlords with murder?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *