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Solsberry Woman Arrested After Fatal Accident Kills Daughter
Updated August 15, 2016 9:22 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMFIELD) - A Solsberry woman was arrested after allegedly lying about the events leading to the death of her 14-year-old daughter last year.

Police arrested 40-year-old Shannon James, on a warrant Friday afternoon on a Level 3 felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and Class A misdemeanor false informing.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the charges stem from an incident in the early hours of Oct. 27, 2015, after a single-vehicle accident on Sharkey Curve claimed the life of Eastern Greene Student 14-year-old Bailey Miller, and injured 18-year-old Shelsey Proctor of Worthington.

The driver of the vehicle, Joshua Wells, of Springville, fled the scene of the accident, but was arrested the next day after allegedly turning himself in to police.

On Thursday officers learned new details about events leading up to the crash.

According to police Wells had allegedly been drinking throughout the day and night before the accident. Greene County police say Wells was the driver of a Ford F-350 truck,owned by James, and was intoxicated and driving at a high-rate of speed on State Road 54 at Sharkey Road near Bloomfield. After crashing the truck, Wells allegedly fled the scene.

Proctor suffered a laceration to her head that required 12 staples and bruises. Miller died from injuries suffered in the crash.

At least eight hours after the incident, Wells submitted to a chemical blood test, which showed he had a blood-alcohol content of .085 percent. He also tested positive for marijuana and stimulants in his blood.

Initially, James told investigators she was unaware her daughter had left with Wells because she had been drinking and the alcohol combined with allergy medicine had made her sleepy, so she and a younger child in the residence went to bed.

When interviewed on October 27, 2015, James reported she did not know how Wells got her keys, and she did not give him permission to take the truck or her daughter with him.

A minor witness at the home corroborated the story initially, but in May came back to the Greene County Sheriff's Department to report James had lied.

The minor told police she wanted to "tell the truth for ... Bailey," and was unable to tell the truth because James was always present.

The minor child reported she had lied at the request of James.

In an interview on May 26, the minor told police on the night of the accident she had gone into her room but left the door open. She told police James and Wells had been drinking whiskey and the "whiskey bottle was empty."

She added she heard Bailey ask to go with Wells, and James gave her daughter permission to leave with Wells and told her to get the truck keys from the bedroom.

The minor had stayed awake, but James fell asleep on the couch. Several hours later when Wells and Bailey had not returned home. James told the minor to tell police Bailey had stole the truck keys from her purse so the minor "would not get taken away."

The minor agreed to submit to a polygraph test to verify the statements. The test was conducted Aug. 8 and showed the minor was telling the truth.

Since the accident, Wells pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea deal to causing the accident and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with three years suspended.

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