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Taylorsville woman pleads not guilty in meth case

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By Shannon Brock

A Taylorsville woman facing charges related to a meth lab that produced a small explosion on Main Street last month was arraigned in Spencer District Court on Friday morning.
Karen R. Cook, 39, of the 100 block of West Main Street, entered a not guilty plea to charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense; first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense (methamphetamine); buy/possessing drug paraphernalia; and unlawful possession of meth precursors, first offense.
Cook turned herself in to police on June 7 following the Taylorsville Police Department’s investigation into a meth lab found in an apartment on Main Street.
Neighbors reported a small explosion and police arrived on scene where a strong chemical smell was detected.
After police obtained a search warrant and entered the apartment, they located the lab, but no one was home.
A Kentucky State Police clandestine lab cleanup team, made up of KSP Trooper Chris Martin, KSP Trooper Shane Wall and Taylorsville Police Officer Todd Walls, rendered the lab safe, Lewis said.
Cook bonded out of jail and appeared in the court room Friday morning, where she was assigned a public defender.
Assistant County Attorney Leigh Erbe asked Judge Linda Armstrong to add mandatory random drug testing as a condition of Cook’s bond while the case plays itself out in court.
One of the conditions of her bond prior to Friday was that she not possess or use any drugs.
“I would like to see that bond condition is somehow verified,” Erbe said.
Armstrong agreed and said Cook would be subject to drug tests at least twice a week.
A preliminary hearing for Cook was set for 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 9.
Cook will likely have a co-defendant in the case. That man was identified in court as Jess Priddy. Priddy has not been arrested or formally charged. Police are preparing to present the case against Priddy to a Spencer County Grand Jury, Chief Toby Lewis said Monday afternoon.