A Smithville woman who tried to flee on foot from law enforcement officers early Christmas eve morning, accompanied by her children, pled guilty in criminal court Monday to child abuse and neglect for putting the youngsters lives at risk in the cold night air.
Judge Leon Burns, Jr. presided.
31 year old Elizabeth Rochelle Bradshaw received a two year sentence but was given credit for fifty one days of time served. She will be on probation for the remainder of the sentence.
Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that Bradshaw grabbed her children, a seven year old girl and a four year old boy, and fled into the woods after learning that deputies were on their way to investigate a domestic incident between Bradshaw and the father of the children, Royce Dwayne McCrary, who were at the home of the children's grandmother on Halls Hollow Road in the Holmes Creek area.
"We got a call at 1:30 a.m. December 24, 2013 to go to Halls Hollow Road for a domestic," said Sheriff Ray. " After the deputies arrived, they were told by family members that Bradshaw had run into the woods with her two young children. As the deputies started their search on foot, they found the seven year old child hiding behind a tree. The child said that when Bradshaw saw head lights of patrol cars coming into the driveway, she took off running with the four year old boy in her arms, leaving her (older child) behind. Bradshaw took the younger child and ran up a steep and heavily wooded hillside," he said. The older child was taken back to her grandmother's home nearby.
Sheriff Ray said members of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad were then called upon to assist in the ground search for Bradshaw and the younger child. An aerial search was also conducted by officials of the Tennessee Highway Patrol who brought in a helicopter.
Shortly after daybreak, Bradshaw and the child were spotted. "At around 7:30 a.m. the helicopter spotted Bradshaw and the small child sitting down on a wooded hillside. Deputies and rescue squad members retrieved the child from Bradshaw and took her into custody. When they were brought down off the hillside and out of the woods, Bradshaw and the child were treated by DeKalb EMS. Bradshaw claimed to have injured her knee," said Sheriff Ray. While Bradshaw and the child were wearing coats (the child had on a hoodie), the sheriff said authorities were concerned about their prolonged exposure to the 27 degree weather. Both Bradshaw and the boy were taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for further treatment.
Sheriff Ray said child protective services were contacted and took custody of both children.
The children's father, McCrary, was arrested by the sheriff's department. He had two violation of probation warrants against him.
In other cases, 32 year old Elizabeth Chalfant pled guilty to forgery of $1,000 to $10,000 and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. She must make restitution. The sentence is to run consecutive to a violation of probation against her. She was given jail credit from June 23 to August 11, 2014. Sheriff Ray said Chalfant allegedly passed twelve checks from a checking account without the victim's permission from May 12-29. The total of the twelve checks was $5,387. The case was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.
41 year old Rodney H. Gora pled guilty to aggravated burglary and received a three year sentence to be served on probation. He must have no contact with the victim and pay restitution of $1,300. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Gora and 28 year old Steven Dale Davidson allegedly entered a residence on James Place and took several items from the home including a storage trunk, a picture, jewelry box, a wooden bunk bed, two mattresses, a wooden end table, and a bag containing sheets and towels all valued at more than $500.
Davidson made a court appearance in June and pled guilty to aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. He received a four year sentence in each case all suspended to supervised probation. The terms are to run concurrently with each other. He is to make restitution of $6,100 to one of the victims. In addition to being a co-defendant with Gora in the burglary on November 13, Davidson allegedly took several items from property on Jones Mill Road November 5, 2013.
60 year old Thomas Greene pled guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 45 days with the balance of the sentence to be on supervised probation. He was fined $610 and he will lose his license for a period of time. Greene was given jail credit from July 19 to August 11.
69 year old Eulain Edward Shelton pled guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II drug and was granted judicial diversion for a period of two years. His probation will be supervised by TDOC and he must pay a $2,000 fine.
28 year old Brandon Kidd pled guilty to attempt to deliver and received a two year sentence on supervised probation by TDOC probation. He was fined $2,000. If all fines and costs are paid, the second year of his probation will be unsupervised. Both Shelton and Kidd were charged in separate cases as a result of a 2013 undercover drug investigation by the sheriff's department.