PRINCETON — A Mercer County woman is facing seven felony child neglect charges after seven children, one of them a 3-year old carrying a knife, were found in a New Hope Road home near Princeton.
Lisa Elaine Littleton, 39, of Princeton has been charged with seven felony counts of gross neglect of a child creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, according to a criminal complaint filed by Trooper First Class K.A. Filer of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment.
Littleton was being held Friday at the Southern Regional Jail on a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
The case began Monday when Mercer County 911 dispatched Filer to conduct a welfare check on several children who had been calling 911 from a new New Hope Road in the Princeton area, according to the report.
Filer said that when he arrived on the scene, he “observed four small children standing in the doorway of the residence,” and immediately saw that they were “dirty and wearing dirty, sagging diapers.” The front porch was “covered with trash, rotting food, fecal and other material.” The door was then closed, and there was no response when Filer knocked, according to the report.
A neighbor approached Filer and advised him that there were people at home, but a truck had left the driveway earlier.
A 13-year-old female juvenile answered the back door when Filer knocked, and said that Littleton had left to pay bills, according to the report.
Filer said he walked through the kitchen, which he “observed to be dirty and observed numerous insects crawling all over the counters.” He also saw a cat sitting on the countertop eating a hotdog bun, according to the report.
A 7-year-old female juvenile was found sleeping in the living room on a couch cushion, and an 11-yearold male was sleeping on the couch, according to the report.
Filer said in his report that all the children were dirty. One bedroom had a single bare mattress, and that the bathroom had holes in the walls, mold, and holes in the floor leading to the basement. When Littleton arrived back at the house, she first said that she and the children were staying in Abbs Valley with her fiancé, but later said that she and the child had been at the house for two weeks.
Child Protective Services arrived on the scene and determined that the children needed to be removed. Filer said six juveniles had been left in the 13-year-old female juvenile’s care.
“The totality of the circumstances, including inadequate care, 3-yearold child in possession of a knife capable of causing themselves or other the other children serious injury or death, and dangerous and unsanitary conditions throughout the residence, the circumstances presented a substantial risk of serious injury to the children in the residence,” he stated in the report.
Gross neglect of a child creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury has a penalty of one to three years in prison and fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, according to the West Virginia Code.
— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline. com