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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man charged with selling meth to woman who died with children in Fernan Lake

UPDATED: Thu., April 19, 2018

Charles Brown (Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)
Charles Brown (Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)

Seventeen months after a Coeur d’Alene woman and her two infant children were found dead in a submerged car in Fernan Lake, prosecutors have accused a man of selling the mother methamphetamine shortly before her death.

A grand jury charged Charles C. Brown, 48, with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance on Friday for allegedly distributing methamphetamine in October 2016. Brown admitted to giving Misty Phelps, 25, a rock of meth the day before she was found dead on the morning of Nov. 3, according to court documents.

His bond was set at $100,000.

Phelps’ silver 2006 Ford Fusion was found submerged at the boat launch by a fisherman. According to autopsy results, Phelps, a Coeur d’Alene Press distribution employee, had high levels of meth in her system as well as other controlled substances.

Her cause of death was ruled drowning, but the manner is still under investigation.

Phelps was reportedly “extremely unwell” in the days leading up to her death, court documents stated, and friends suspected she was using drugs, citing her erratic behavior and sudden weight loss.

Phelps was in the middle of divorce proceedings with her husband, Tyler W. Phelps. She petitioned for divorce in February 2016, according to court documents, and had a hearing scheduled in December 2016.

Brown told detectives that several people accused him of killing Phelps and her kids, allegations he reportedly denied. He considered fleeing to Oregon, court documents said, out of fear investigators would tie him to Phelps’ death.

Court documents note that investigators said Brown appeared to be deceptive and untruthful in a polygraph test when asked about being involved with Phelps’ death or if he knew who was present at the time of her death.

Brown has a lengthy criminal record, which includes drug possession, battery, felony witness intimidation, theft and no-contact order violation.

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