Eight years ago, police went to a 329 Chestnut Tower Lane residence after a toppled oak tree injured the homeowner and killed her friend. On Tuesday, they went back with a warrant and charged the now-paralyzed woman with drug and gun crimes.
Brooke Renee Lipscomb, 39, of Max Meadows and two other suspects were arrested after Wythe County Sheriff’s Office deputies executed a search warrant at the ranch house that replaced Lipscomb’s destroyed mobile home.
According to court documents and a press release, officers found two bags containing 14.7 grams of suspected methamphetamine inside a purse where Lipscomb was sitting in a back bedroom.
They also found a few hundred oxycodone pills, hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana, according to the press release.
“In the bedroom I also located three pistols and a shotgun and a rifle,” Deputy E.W. Kirby wrote in his criminal complaint.
Lipscomb’s home health care aide, 35-year-old Mary Ann Ross of Wytheville, was charged with possessing meth after police reported finding two glass pipes with residue in the center console of Ross’ SUV.
“Ross stated she did smoke meth sometimes,” Kirby wrote.
Officers also recovered a stolen 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle and charged 56-year-old Daniel Leon Collins of Ivanhoe with possessing stolen property.
Kirby wrote that Collins said he didn’t know the bike was stolen but wouldn’t tell him where he got it.
Arraigned Wednesday on charges of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute (two counts), possessing guns with drugs (two counts) and possessing marijuana, Lipscomb was given a court-appointed attorney to represent her.
In a 2014 Wytheville Enterprise article, Lipscomb talked about her struggle to return to a normal life after losing her friend, 32-year-old Stephanie McGowan, and the use of her legs.
She said the two were having brunch inside her mobile home on April 16, 2011, when the snapped tree split the trailer in two parts and knocked it from its foundation.
McGowan died at the scene and Lipscomb was flown to a Tennessee hospital.
“There were times when I just wanted to die,” Lipscomb told a reporter in 2014. “But I knew nothing in life was easy, and I believe God has a purpose for my life. I learned even in the darkness there is a light.”
She’s being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin with a Nov. 14 preliminary hearing set in Wythe County General District Court.
Set to be arraigned on July 1, Ross, listed as disabled in court records, and Collins are free on bond while awaiting trial.
Collins is also awaiting trial on a 2018 misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
Jeffrey Simmons can be reached at 228-6611, extension 19, or firstname.lastname@example.org.