Pubdate: Tue, 19 Jun 2001
Source: Chattanooga Times & Free Press (TN)
Copyright: 2001 Chattanooga Publishing Co.
Author: Stump Martin


A 15-month-old Catoosa County child died Saturday from injuries suffered in 
a methamphetamine laboratory explosion on Feb. 7, authorities said Monday.

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said Shelton Hicks died of cardiac 
arrest from complications caused by severe burns from an explosion and fire 
at 153 Nason St. in the Lakeview area. He said the case still is under 

"This is very sad," Sheriff Summers said. "The child suffered from severe 
burns over 30 percent of his body and was treated for an extended time at 
the Shriner's Burn Unit in Cincinnati before he was released to foster 
parents in Rome, Ga."

The sheriff said that the child's mother, Suzette Callaway, 27, and the 
child's father, Christopher Hicks, 28, originally were arrested on charges 
of operating a methamphetamine lab and released on bond at the time of the 

He said Connie Rockholt, 32, was arrested and charged with operating a 
methamphetamine lab and remains in custody. Lance Rockholt, 31, was charged 
in the case and remains at large.

Sheriff Summers said he anticipates the district attorney's office will 
upgrade the charges to murder, which is a nonbondable offense.

"It's shocking how many people with children in the house have meth labs," 
said Catoosa County Coroner Vanita Hullender. "They want everything to look 
like it's a normal family situation."

Ms. Hullender said she wants the county to give the maximum penalty the 
courts feel is deserved. The child had skin grafts to his hands and arms 
and pins placed in his fingers, she said.

"This child was in and out of four different hospitals," Ms. Hullender 
said. "I hope the law sees fit to issue a sentence that fits what the child 
went through."

The child's body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab 
for an autopsy.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Lane Funeral Home in Rossville.
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