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Trial Date Set In Abuse Case

Parents charged with leaving their 9-year-old son in hot car

September 20, 2013
By TYLER REYNARD Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone on Thursday scheduled a trial date for the parents who in July allegedly locked their 9-year-old son in a hot car while they shoplifted from a store at The Highlands.

A grand jury indicted Stephen Clemens and Jeanette Darnley last week on felony charges of child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death and entering without breaking.

During Thursday's docket day proceedings, Clemens, 25, and Darnley, 28, both of Wheeling appeared with separate attorneys and entered innocent pleas to all charges. Mazzone scheduled their trial for Oct. 23.

It was about 90 degrees and a heat advisory was in effect on the day an Ohio County sheriff's deputy found the boy locked inside the car. The child was "covered in sweat," court documents state.

Clemens and Darnley allegedly left the boy inside the car in the parking lot for 20 minutes while they were shoplifting inside the store. The deputy was responding to the reported shoplifting when a man in the parking lot alerted him to the child inside the car.

Mazzone and Circuit Judge David Sims on Thursday also accepted innocent pleas from and set trial dates for the following individuals:

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