Woman sentenced for child neglect

ELKINS – A woman was sentenced to serve jail time on a child neglect charge during a hearing in Randolph County Circuit Court on Friday.

Crystal Bennett, 29, of Valley Head was sentenced to one to five years in a state penitentiary after pleading guilty in November to one count of child neglect creating risk of injury.

Bennett allegedly told police in April that she had ingested her daughter’s medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, and when officers searched her residence they allegedly found a “silver, metallic, smoking device” covered with residue that smelled of burned marijuana, according to previous reports. Officers also allegedly discovered a purple plastic grinder containing a white powdery residue next to two 3-inch-long plastic straws.

At her plea hearing in November, Bennett told the court she allegedly took medication prescribed to one of her two children and exposed both to other narcotics she obtained illegally.

Also in Randolph County Circuit Court this week:

– Whorley Jack Ayers, 72, an inmate at the Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, who was found guilty of malicious wounding charges in July, was given a recidivist, or habitual crime, sentence on Thursday in response to his guilty plea to one count of malicious assault.

The sentence acknowledges Ayers’ multiple felony convictions and an overall sentence of two to 10 years in a state penitentiary has been issued to be tacked on to his current sentence, which was handed down in another county on unrelated charges.

Ayers was acquitted by a jury of attempted murder charges at his trial in July. Ayers was indicted on one felony count of attempted murder, one felony count of malicious assault and one felony count of an offense committed by an inmate for allegedly attacking Phillip J. Frye on Feb. 6, 2012 at the Huttonsville Correctional Center. Both Ayers and Frye were inmates at HCC at the time of the incident.

Ayers and Frye became involved in an argument that escalated into a physical altercation, during which Ayers stabbed Frye with an ink pen “just inches from his jugular vein,” Assistant Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Lori Gray told the jury during the trial in July.

– Sheila Arbogast, 43, of Beverly, pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering and two counts of forgery, all felonies.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14. Arbogast will remain free on bond pending her sentencing.

– April Dawn Currence-Parsons, 32, of Mabie, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, a felony.

Parsons’ sentencing is scheduled for March 7. She will remain out on bond pending sentencing.

– The trial of Dylan Craig Kyle, 31, of Norton, was continued to May 8 with jury selection

May 7.

In June, Kyle pleaded not guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a felony; one count of carrying a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor; and one count of improper registration, a misdemeanor.

– The case of Robert Allen Friel, 24, of Huttonsville, will proceed to trial. Jury selection is set for Feb. 4 and the trial is set for Feb. 19.

In March, Friel pleaded not guilty to one count of third-degree sexual assault, a felony. The indictment alleges Friel had sexual intercourse with a juvenile under the age of 16 in July 2012.

– Daphne Kay Thompson, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of exposing a child to methamphetamine manufacturing. She told the court that she allowed her child to be present while a group of individuals were cooking meth.

Thompson’s sentencing is set for March 7.

– The case of Katharine C. Davis, also known as Katherine C. Marshall or Katherine C. Cook, 40, of Beverly, will proceed to trial. Jury selection is set for Jan. 7 and the trial is set for Jan. 13-14.

In June, Davis pleaded not guilty to four counts of worthless checks, a felony; and two counts of fraudulent schemes, a felony.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.