Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

January 7, 2014

Small pleads guilty to child neglect charge

PRINCETON — A local woman who was arrested in early July 2013 after a car chase ended with pepper spray, pleaded guilty Monday in Mercer County Circuit Court to a child neglect charge.

Dovie Small, 46, of Princeton, was charged July 9, 2013 with child neglect creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death. The arrest was made after a Dodge Hemi Charger allegedly swerved into her path on Courthouse Road near Princeton. Small, who was also driving a Dodge Charger, pursued the first car west up U.S. Route 460 until they stopped near Cumberland Road in Bluefield. The Bluefield Police and troopers with the West Virginia State Police stopped the cars.

Small’s teenage daughter and a second teenage girl were in her car during the incident. Both girls were “hanging out windows and screaming,” Patrolman K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department said when the incident occurred.

Both parties tried to use pepper spray at each other when they arrived in Bluefield, officers said at the time of the arrest.

Small appeared Monday before Circuit Court Judge William Sadler for a pretrial hearing. During that hearing, Small pleaded guilty to the child neglect charge, according to information with the Mercer County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

The prosecution would not oppose a motion for probation with deferred adjudication, with the conditions that she must complete an anger management course, complete a driving class, and apologize to the victim, according to the circuit clerk’s office.

Child endangerment carries a term of one to five years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Sentencing was set for early March. Small is currently free on bond.

There was no evidence to support the report of the first car swerving into Small’s lane near Princeton. Adams later said after Small’s arraignment at the magistrate offices in Bluefield that he would not describe the chase as a road rage incident. Both parties had been arguing on Facebook prior to July 9, 2013.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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