Warner receives suspended sentence

A Belington woman who was arrested as part of a meth lab bust last year was sentenced Tuesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Tonya Warner, 29, was arrested Aug. 28, 2012 after West Virginia State Police discovered what they believed to be a mobile meth lab in a white van near Bob’s Hotdogs in Norton.

At her preliminary hearing in Randolph County Magistrate Court last year, a law enforcement officer testified that Warner tried to escape from him three times – once on foot and twice in a vehicle. Warner and her boyfriend were charged with child neglect, among other felonies after police discovered their 3- and 4-year-old children in the van.

In April, Warner entered a guilty plea to neglect of her children, a felony, and obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

On Tuesday, Warner appeared with her attorney, Timothy Prentice, before Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong, who sentenced her to one to five years in the state penitentiary.

Wilfong suspended the sentence, requiring Warner to serve five years of supervised probation, complete classes through North Central Community Corrections and pay the cost of her court-appointed attorney and court costs.

Prentice said Warner was now clean and sober and had been attending classes and counseling.

“She has done remarkably well,” Prentice said. “She has improved her circumstances. She has had to start her life over, but has improved because of it.”

Randolph County Prosecutor Michael Parker also recommended Warner serve five years of supervised probation.

“To be quite frank, Your Honor, if someone would have told me this would be my recommendation six months ago, I would have probably laughed at them,” Parker said. “Miss Warner has done significantly well during the course of this case, and the reason she has gotten this opportunity is solely through her hard work and dedication to this program.”

Attorney Richard Shryock, who has served as Warner’s guardian ad litem, also spoke about her progress.

“I can echo the sentiments of the prosecutor,” Shryock said. “I have been working very closely with Miss Warner since the beginning of her being released from jail. She has done everything that has been asked of her. She has done everything she said she would do. And she has been clean and attending counseling and she has secured a residence. She is visiting her children.”

“I can confidently say that in 15 years of serving as a guardian, I have never seen anyone do as well as Miss Warner,” Shryock said. “She still has a long way to go, but up to this point, it has been remarkable.”

Also in circuit court Tuesday:

– A pretrial conference was held in the case of Edward Slaubaugh, 64, of Montrose. Slaubaugh appeared with his attorney, James Hawkins,. Ray LaMora, Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney represented the state.

Wilfong set jury selection in the Slaubaugh trail for May 21, and the trial for May 22 and 24.

In November 2012, Slaubaugh was indicted on one felony count of first-degree sexual assault, one felony count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian and one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse. According to the indictment, Slaubaugh allegedly had sexual intercourse with the victim and forced the victim to engage in a lewd sexual act on Sept. 17, 2011.

The alleged victim was 5 years old at the time the alleged incidents occurred.

– Constance Nicole Moore, 32, of Elkins, entered a plea agreement Tuesday, pleading guilty to one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance, hydrocodone.

Moore, who appeared with her attorney, Christopher Cooper, said she sold the drugs to an informant in Randolph County in April 2012 for approximately $150. Moore refused to divulge where she obtained the pills.

Wilfong ordered a presentence investigation and set the sentence date for 9 a.m. June 27. She further ordered that Moore be remanded into custody until her sentencing.