Sherry Kirk

Sherry Kirk

WAR — Three McDowell County residents have been indicted in connection with a 2019 case that included a juvenile ingesting turpentine in an attempt to abort a baby.

A McDowell County grand jury this week indicted Sharon Faye Baker Adams, 63, of Bartley and Sherry Kirk, 63, of War, on charges of attempt to kill or injury by poison; child abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian; gross child neglect creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury; and felony conspiracy.

Daniel Lee Atwell, 25, of War was indicted on two counts of sexual assault in the third degree.

All were charged and arrested in July 2019.

West Virginia State Trooper First Class D.G. Pierson was in charge of the case and said after the arrests it started on July 24 when he met with a child protective service worker who said she had received a complaint of a possible sexual assault involving a 24-year-old male (Atwell, who is now 25) and a 15-year-old female.

Pierson said in the criminal complaint Atwell had been living with the juvenile and her mother, Sharon Baker Adams, and Atwell said he had been given permission to have sex with the juvenile.

Adams also said permission had been granted, Pierson said, adding that he was also told the juvenile was pregnant, which had been confirmed after being given a pregnancy test at Welch Community Hospital.

Pierson said in the criminal complaint that on July 25 he interviewed Adams at the Welch Detachment of the WV State Police and she was read her Miranda warnings.

Adams, according to the criminal complaint, said she found out “about a month ago” that the juvenile was pregnant and that she and her sister, Kirk, brought a “plan B pill to kill the pregnancy. She went on to state that she also attempted to locate turpentine at the hardware store but could not locate any.”

Adams said she and her sister were going to give turpentine to drink to try to kill the pregnancy.

On July 26, Pierson said in the criminal complaint he attended a forensics interview at Stop The Hurt in Welch involving the juvenile.

“During the interview, (the juvenile) disclosed that her aunt, Sherry Kirk, had discovered she was pregnant and had actually obtained turpentine from an unknown male,” the criminal complaint said. “(The juvenile) went on to state that Sherry made her drink the turpentine.”

All were released on bond.

— Contact Charles Boothe at

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