A Marysville man has a chance to avoid spending four years in state prison – for causing an explosion in a local motel while his children were present – if he can complete four years of probation.

Shane Russ, 25, was arrested Aug. 10 after a honey (hash) oil lab he and others were operating in a motel room on E Street caused an explosion that blew out the front and back windows of the room. Two other adults in the room were injured and two children under two years old were in the room but were not injured.

Leo Arnold, 42, and Brenda Pitkin, 36, both of Marysville were taken to the hospital with second and third-degree burns. Pitkin was charged, like Russ, with manufacturing a controlled substance and child endangerment. On Aug. 19, Russ pleaded no contest to child endangerment and had the other charge dismissed.

On Monday, he appeared in Yuba County Superior Court via video conference from Yuba County Jail. Judge Julia Scrogin ruled that if Russ successfully completes four years of probation, he will not have to serve a four-year prison term, which she suspended. In addition, he will serve 270 days in Yuba County Jail with credit for 72 days.

“He could have killed them,” Scrogin said about the children. “…This is meant to motivate your behavior.”

Pitkin is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on Oct. 20 at 9 a.m.

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