Darnley Sentenced To House Arrest

Jeanette Darnley will spend one-to-five years on house arrest as punishment for leaving her 9-year-old son locked inside a parked car for 20 minutes on a 90-degree day in July while she shoplifted items from a department store.

Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone on Thursday sentenced Darnley, 28, to house arrest in lieu of prison.

An Ohio County grand jury indicted Darnley in September on charges of child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death and entering without breaking.

She pleaded guilty in October to child neglect in exchange for the state dismissing the entering without breaking charge.

Court documents reveal Darnley, and co-defendant Stephen Clemens, 25, left the child in the car while they stole items from the Kohl’s department store at The Highlands.

A store surveillance camera showed Darnley returning items she had stolen for cash.

An Ohio County sheriff’s deputy said he found the child covered in sweat.

At the sentencing, Mazzone denied a request by Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak for the court to consider putting Darnley on two years probation because she had taken responsibility for her action.

In addition to the one-to-five years of monitored house arrest, Mazzone ordered that Darnley register with the West Virginia State Police as an abusive parent.

He also ordered a two-year period of supervised release at the end of the home confinement period.

She is eligible for parole in one year.