The building and its condition is the worst that Williams said he's seen in his 15 years as an officer. Building inspectors found infestations of cockroaches, bedbugs and scabies inside every rental unit. Many of the units didn't have working heat and many didn't have smoke detectors, he said.
About 15 people renting apartments in the building need to move out by Monday.
McKean and Lester said they only moved into the building out of desperation. Their previous apartment was unexpectedly sold to a realtor and they needed to find somewhere quick to live. Together they have two children, ages 2 and 3, and McKean is nine months pregnant. They said weren't aware of the problems with drugs and prostitution when they signed the lease.
"When we first moved here we didn't think it was that bad, but things just got worse and worse," Lester said.
The couple pays $485 a month for one single bedroom. They share a communal bathroom and kitchen with three other apartment units on the top floor.
The kitchen and bathroom are virtually unusable and there is no cold water, only hot.
They did everything they could do to make the apartment livable and installed new carpet and tried to clean up the kitchen. McKean said she put insecticide near every electrical outlet to kill the roaches, which move in and out of the outlets.
However, Stone refused to address other safety issues and put a padlock on their door on several occasions demanding more money, they said.
"I wouldn't call him a landlord, he's more of a con artist," Lester said.
Their children stay with Lester's mother most of the time because the apartment's conditions are so bad.
The couple has since found an apartment on Charleston's West Side, but it won't be ready until Jan. 15. Lester said that in the meantime, he's taking McKean and the children to his mother's home.
Williams said Stone owns several other apartments along Jackson Street. He also has a residence along Bradshaw Branch in Ashford in Boone County.
Police would be looking at Stone's other units and additional charges could follow, Williams said.Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.