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Couple to stand trial for child abuse

OCEANSIDE — The parents of a toddler were ordered to stand trial July 2 by a San Diego Superior Court judge for child abuse after authorities found loaded weapons and marijuana being grown in their Oceanside residence.
Stephanie Marie Apatiga, 28, and Adam Lynn Heath, 31, are both charged with one count of felony child abuse. Additionally, Heath is also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possessing a prohibited gun and ammo and cultivating marijuana, all felonies.
Further, a third defendant, David Adame, whose case has been separated from the aforementioned defendants, is charged with a single felony count each of possessing a prohibited firearm, receiving stolen property and a felon in possession of a firearm.
Judge Timothy Casserly set an Aug. 25 trial date for Apatiga and Heath. The couple’s next scheduled court appearance is a July 30 readiness conference. Adame, 29, is scheduled back in court July 15 for further proceedings in his case.
Oceanside police Detective John McKean testified he was working surveillance April 25 on a house in the 200 block of Smoketree Place in Oceanside after receiving information that Adame, who was wanted on a parole violation, might be at that location. McKean said he believed narcotics trafficking was occurring from the residence because of the steady flow of people who would visit the residence for short periods of time.
When Adame and Heath left the residence on foot that afternoon with Heath’s then 13-month-old son, police surrounded the men, McKean testified. Heath tried to flee on his skateboard with his son, while Adame, who surrendered, dropped a .45 caliber handgun he’d been carrying in a black plastic bag, the detective said.
When police searched the residence, which McKean described as a “tweaker pad,” they found a loaded 20-gauge sawed- off shotgun on the garage floor with ammo nearby, a loaded handgun in Apatiga and Heath’s bedroom drawer, and a bedroom with several marijuana plants dedicated to cultivating the drug, the detective testified. Authorities established the couple resided at the residence through forwarded mail and bills, McKean said.
Apatiga was home at the time of the police search.
Additionally, trace amounts of cocaine and morphine were found in the toddler’s system, McKean said.
Apatiga remains free on $100,000 bail, while Heath, who has served time in prison for robbery and drug-related charges, remains in custody on $148,000 bail. Adame, a reputed gang member who has also served prison time for robbery and drug charges, is in jail on a no bail hold for violating his parole.