- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A Harrison County judge ordered attorneys on both sides to turn over evidence before he sentences a woman who has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection to her running of a Salem boarding school for troubled youths.

Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell recently requested to see the evidence in the case of 69-year-old Susan Gayle Clark, who directed the now-closed Miracle Meadows School, The Exponent Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/1p8SG6j).

Clark is to be sentenced April 1 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor child neglect creating a substantial risk of injury, misdemeanor failure to report by a mandated reporter and misdemeanor obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Clark said she regrets not firing an employee accused of putting a student in handcuffs. She also has admitted to not properly reporting an accusation of sexual abuse or sexual assault. She has also acknowledged lying to Harrison Sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Waybright when he inquired about the whereabouts of children who had been at the school.

It isn’t unheard of for a 15th Circuit judge to request the evidence, but it is not very common, especially when the convictions are misdemeanors, the newspaper reported.

In exchange for Clark’s plea, Harrison Assistant Prosecutor Traci Cook dismissed two felony charges of child neglect resulting in injury that could have sent Clark to prison for between two and 10 years if she had been convicted.

Clark could face up to a year and 7 months in jail, in addition to fines totaling up to $2,500.

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Information from: The Exponent Telegram, http://www.theet.com

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