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Child neglect charges stem from altercation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston woman is facing a child neglect charge after police investigating a domestic disturbance found drugs and alcohol within the child's reach.

City patrolmen D.C. Goffreda and C.A. Burford were dispatched Tuesday to the Wyoming Street home of Jamie Annette Caplinger, 27, to break up a disturbance between two men.

Once at the home, officers determined the fight was over Caplinger, according to the complaint on file at Kanawha Magistrate Court.

Joshua Epling was involved in a fight with Glen Hughes. Epling told police he was dating Caplinger, who is Hughes' estranged wife. Hughes was not at the scene when officers arrived.

Goffreda searched the home to check for injured people and found Caplinger inside. She said she was pushed during the fight while holding her 2-year-old son, Chase, causing him to strike his head on the doorway. She said Hughes took the boy with him when he left.

Caplinger allowed officers to search the home, where they found drug paraphernalia throughout the house, including needles under the sink. The refrigerator contained only "old, moldy food," the complaint said.

Officers also found a bottle of vodka in a child seat on the floor and a white, powdery substance on a TV stand within the child's reach. Caplinger had a plastic bag containing a white, powdery substance in her pocket. She told the officer it was "geek," a street name for meth, the complaint said.

Hughes returned to the home with the child and a witness, Phillip Blake. The boy had a large bruise on his forehead.

Blake and Hughes told the officer Hughes was holding the toddler when Epling struck him, causing his elbow to strike the child. Epling told officers Caplinger was holding the child during the fight, the complaint said.

Blake told police the fight was the third altercation that day between the three.

Caplinger is charged with child neglect creating the risk of injury.

Charleston police still are investigating and no other charges had been filed as of Thursday.

Caplinger is being held at South Central Regional Jail on $25,000 bond.


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