Trial delayed in drug case related to fatal Walla Walla fire

Jared F. Allen is accused of manufacturing methamphetamine, which is believed to have started a blaze that killed three women in 2009.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man accused of manufacturing methamphetamine, which officials believe started a fire that killed three women in February 2009, will not stand trial next week as scheduled.

Jared F. Allen, 42, of 309 N. Sixth Ave., had been expected to face a jury starting Tuesday. But the proceedings have been postponed until May 24.

Allen is charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with four drug-related felonies -- two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count each of possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture meth and unlawful storage of anhydrous ammonia.

He was arrested last July on a warrant issued when he was charged with cooking meth in an RV on Woodlawn Street the evening of Feb. 25, 2009. Officials said a chemical fire flashed during the process, killing three people -- including his daughter Shanda Lee Allen -- inside the vehicle.

The additional charges, filed in September, stem from the discovery of items in a Melrose Street storage unit linked to Allen, officials said. A tank of anhydrous ammonia was found, in addition to medication containing pseudoephedrine, and jars and bottles consistent with the process of manufacturing meth, according to authorities.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta has filed notice to seek an exceptionally long sentence for Allen if he is convicted, partly because of his lengthy criminal history.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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