BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County woman was arrested Friday after allegedly being found under the influence of marijuana in her home around several children.
Kayla M. Tenney, 25, of Buckhannon, was arrested July 22 for child neglect creating a risk of injury, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Deputy T.R. Collins with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, on July 22, 2022, deputies went to a Gould Road residence to serve a capias on someone. While there, it became evident to Collins that a child was living in the home.
The mother of the child would not initially tell officers where the child was, but eventually said the child was at a friend’s house in Valley Green. When Collins asked about the child’s welfare, the mother told him he could follow her to the friend’s Valley Green residence to check on the child.
Collins arrived at the Valley Green home, and the mother immediately ran to the door and grabbed her child from the home, according to the file. The mother said the child was safe. Then, Collins asked where Tenney, the mother’s friend who lived in the Valley Green residence, was. He also asked permission to check out the inside of the home to make sure there were no other children present in the house.
When Collins made contact with the resident, Tenney, she allegedly appeared to have glassy, bloodshot eyes that were dilated, according to the complaint. Collins noted that when Tenney opened the door, the smell of marijuana “immediately emanated from the apartment,” he wrote. Tenney started shaking and had a tremble in her voice when she began speaking after Collins had asked her where the marijuana was. She allegedly told him she had a bong but did not know where it was. Collins asked her if she could retrieve it for him, and she began looking around the room and then took him upstairs.
Tenney then took Collins back downstairs and asked a juvenile where she hid the bong. The juvenile reportedly retrieved the bong from behind the couch, the file says. The bong was multiple colors with writing on it and burnt marijuana, along with green marijuana inside the bowl part of the bong, according to the report.
Tenney allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana in the kitchen, which was approximately 15 feet away from multiple juveniles. All of the juveniles were asleep on a couch and a small bed near the kitchen. Child Protective Services was notified and arrived on scene, and Tenney was placed under arrest and transported to the sheriff’s office. Tenney was read her Miranda rights and allegedly admitted to smoking the marijuana because she was stressed. She also allegedly admitted she was stoned and should not have been doing that around the kids.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $25,000 cash only and as of Monday evening, Tenney remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, according to the W.Va. Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.
The potential penalty for a conviction of child neglect creating a risk of injury is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000, or both.