A judge reluctantly agreed today to release David Gerald Paul, jailed after a fatal hash-lab explosion in a residential neighborhood in Rio Dell.

Visiting Judge Joseph Hurley said he felt he must follow the Probation Department’s written recommendation to place the 38-year-old Paul on supervised release, pending his sentencing next month. He faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months for felony drug charges and child endangerment.

“I don’t like the idea of somebody who’s awaiting sentencing and comes in and says ‘Let me go,’ ” the judge said, adding he had no choice but to follow the Probation Department’s recommendation.

Interim Public Defender Marek Reavis, representing Paul today, said the Probation Department determined Paul was “a one” on the scale of how likely he is to commit a crime while on supervised release.

Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada said he doesn’t believe Paul “is going to go out and rent a garage for a hash lab,” but he said Paul should remain in custody because he has pleaded guilty to felony charges and is scheduled for sentencing April 9.

Kamada told the judge Paul was originally charged with murder.

“Someone died and you took a (child endangerment) plea?” the judge asked. “Is this the one where a hash lab blew up?”

Reavis explained Paul is one of three co-defendants and was determined to be the least culpable. His wife, Tamara Gayle Paul, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. And Arron Mohr, one of the three men operating a hash-oil lab in the Pauls’ rented garage, admitted to voluntary manslaughter.

Mohr’s close friend Xavier Paul Renner died from burns suffered when someone lit a cigarette and the butane-fueled lab exploded. It was determined Tamara Paul was aware of what the men were doing in the detached garage. The Pauls’ 5-year-old daughter was home when several explosions rocked the neighborhood, and both Tamara and David Paul pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

Hurley told Paul he will likely be required to take parenting classes, and he had a suggestion.

“Sign up,” the judge said.

Kamada said today that no sentence has been agreed on. But earlier this week Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo said David Paul is “guaranteed probation.”

A fourth defendant, Aaron Schisler, escaped when the lab exploded and remains a fugitive.