Woman found guilty of child abuse

Published 10:33 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

A Newport News woman was found guilty on Friday of two counts of child abuse and neglect and two counts of cruelty to children.

Jeronda Rena Wilson, 24, remains incarcerated as she awaits sentencing, which was set for Aug. 22 following the verdict in her bench trial.

Wilson was one of two charged when her 2-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son were found locked in a camper in the 300 block of North Division Street on June 18.

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According to prosecutor Marie Walls, police were at the home that day to serve a search warrant on someone else for unrelated charges.

They heard the children crying and pried open the lock on the door.

“They found both children in urine-soaked diapers,” Walls said. “The little one had fecal matter in the diaper.”

There was no air-conditioning in the camper, and the windows were closed, Walls said. The only source of air circulation was a box fan.

“Conditions were very hot,” she said.

The camper was in a state of disarray, Walls added, with fleas and mouse droppings throughout.

The camper and the house behind which it was parked were declared uninhabitable because of the lack of running water.

While police were at the camper, Wilson returned from the store, where she had gone to buy beer, a city spokeswoman said at the time.

Paramedics were called to the scene, and the 6-month-old was given an albuterol treatment for wheezing caused by asthma. Both children were transported to Sentara Obici Hospital for treatment and released to their grandfather in Newport News.

The children had been in those conditions for three days, Walls said, though they were supervised for part of the time.

Also arrested in the case was Laron Huston Neal, who was supposed to have been watching the children, Walls said. He has been deemed incompetent to stand trial. His next review date is set for May 27.