Federal judge sentences man to 9 years for deadly Bellevue hash oil explosion

SEATTLE -- A federal judge sentenced David Richard Schultz II to nine years in prison Monday for his involvement in a deadly hash oil explosion.

Police said Schultz and his roommates were extracting hash oil from marijuana when the explosion happened.

The blast destroyed an apartment building and hospitalized seven neighbors, including Nan Campbell, Bellevue’s first female mayor, who later died from her injuries.

Schultz repeatedly apologized for his involvement in the explosion, saying he needed the money to support his family.

The prosecutor in Schultz’s case asked the judge for a long prison sentence and that’s exactly what he got.

“She was full of energy and spirit and we figured she had another 20 years left in her,” said Patty Campbell, Nan’s daughter. “She was just always going.”

Nan Campbell, 87, escaped the explosion with her life but died in the hospital days later after breaking her pelvis while fleeing the fire.

Investigators said Schultz and his two roommates were processing marijuana into hash oil inside a Hampton Greens apartment in November 2013.

The extraction process uses highly flammable butane and that time it went horribly wrong.

“Posing this kind of danger to innocent bystanders is just not acceptable behavior,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Lombardi.

Schultz repeatedly apologized in federal court but prosecutors asked the judge to sentence him to a decade behind bars.

“I’m sure he’s sorry. It doesn’t bring back our mother and it doesn’t do anything for the victims of the explosion,” said Patty.

“You can’t engage in an industrial process involving flammable, explosive gasses in a residence,” Lombardi said.

Prosecutors wanted to send a message to other illegal marijuana processors to think twice before another accident turns deadly.

“People are chasing the next big high or the next big thing,” said Lombardi. “It’s a way to make money and, unfortunately, it’s exceedingly dangerous.”

Schultz’s two roommates already pleaded guilty to their charges and will face sentencing at the end of July.