Explosion, fire at Edmond home lead to alcohol still charges

Richard Sherrick, 62, was reportedly “fortifying” his wine in the garage of the house at 2801 Jill's Trail when an explosion blew the garage door off its rails and toward the driveway, according to an affidavit.
by Matt Dinger Published: November 7, 2013
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— An Edmond man was charged with operating a whiskey still — a felony — after an explosion at his home, court records show.

Richard Sherrick, 62, was reportedly “fortifying” his wine in the garage of the house at 2801 Jill's Trail when an Oct. 26 explosion blew the garage door off its rails and toward the driveway, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The garage floor, ceiling and door sustained fire and smoke damage, as well as items on shelves in the garage. The garage door seal was melting, and a crack was visible on the exterior molding of the garage door frame, according to the affidavit.

Sherrick put out the fire with a garden hose before firefighters arrived. Charred and burned fragments of an unknown substance were stuck to the passenger side of a sport utility vehicle in the driveway. He told police he was condensing wine into brandy when the alcohol and its fumes came in contact with a flame and caught some curtains on fire, according to the affidavit.

Sherrick's girlfriend, who owns the home, told police he said he was making wine and did not know he was distilling liquor in the home.

Both were inside the house at the time of the explosion, and Sherrick had just come in from the garage when the explosion occurred.

A propane tank, burner, cooling unit, plastic tubing and copper coils were found at the home, according to the affidavit.


by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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