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Woman sentenced for child neglect

February 05, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg woman charged with a felony count of child neglect after her 23-month-old boy was found shivering and poorly dressed outside in sub-freezing weather conditions in December entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of contributing to the neglect of a child on Thursday.

Wanda M. Murphy, 41, of 320 Twigg Drive, was placed on unsupervised probation for two years, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders said. A 90-day jail sentence was suspended and Murphy was ordered to pay court costs, Saunders said.

Found wearing a thin, long-sleeve shirt, wind breaker pants and tennis shoes outside a home in the 300 block of Yoakum Street, the child was shivering and appeared to have soiled his pants, police had said. The temperature was about 20 degrees and police noted that rain and sleet were falling steadily in a 10 mph wind.

The child, who turned 2 in December, and three more of the woman's children were placed in the custody of the Child Protective Services division of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, police had said.

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