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Wildomar Couple Could Lose Custody Of Son In Marijuana Growing Trial

PALM SPRINGS (CBS) — Jury deliberations began Monday in the trial of a Wildomar couple who could lose custody of their son if found guilty of growing marijuana at their home.

William Bunn, 36, and his 28-year-old wife, Mary, face felony charges of cultivating marijuana and willfully endangering the health of a child. He additionally is charged with a felony count of possessing a firearm within 10 years of a prior conviction.

The Bunns were arrested in 2008 when investigators found 79 live marijuana plants growing in a detached garage at their rural Wildomar home, according to prosecutors, who say the building was equipped with paraphernalia indicative of marijuana cultivation, including artificial lighting, a climate control system and independent hoses for each plant.

Investigators said they also found 2.05 grams of marijuana in various places within the Bunns' home and a glass smoking pipe that appeared to be recently used.

A .380 semi-automatic handgun was found on a shelf above the refrigerator, with three live rounds sitting next to the weapon and a .12 gauge shotgun was found in a bedroom, with live ammunition nearby, prosecutors allege.

The Bunns' son was 22 months old at the time of the August 2008 search and was taken from the couple for several months.

The husband and wife could each face more than seven years in prison if convicted, meaning they would lose custody of their child while incarcerated.

During the trial, the defense maintained the pot plants actually belonged to Chris Yap, president of the Human Kindness Center, a marijuana cooperative based in Temecula.

The case was initially expected to be tried at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, but was instead sent to Palm Springs.

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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