Butzien-Eckhardt children in protective custody

By Kelly Ducote / The Observer October 25, 2013 11:01 am
ENTERPRISE — Six children were put into foster care Monday night following the arrest of their parents involved with growing 161 marijuana plants in their Lostine home.

Jay Dawes of Department of Human Services said the children are in three different homes in Union County and the state is working to have the children visit each other “as often as possible.”

“The children were allowed to see each other as soon as the day following the state putting them into protective custody,” Dawes said.

A hearing was held in Wallowa County Circuit Court Wednesday morning in front of Judge Robert Morgan with attorneys representing the father, Jay Butzien, mother, Angela Eckhardt, and the children. Eckhardt’s attorney, Kent Anderson, asked that the hearing be brief and didn’t see a need for testimony from one of the arresting officers.

Butzien, 38, is lodged in the Union County Jail for unlawfully manufacturing marijuana, unlawful possession of marijuana, two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, six counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and six counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Eckhardt, 38, was cited and released for unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful manufacture of marijuana, six counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, six counts of reckless endangering and frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

“If neither is allowed contact, I believe that is sufficient to find temporary jurisdiction (of the court),” Anderson said.

Rick Dall, attorney for the children, asked Dawes if either parent was able to provide a name of a family member who would be able to care for them.

Dawes said they were going to look into giving temporary custody to the children’s paternal grandmother at a later date.

Judge Morgan granted temporary custody of the children to the state’s care.