WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


EXCLUSIVE: West Side Stabbing Victim Recounts Her Attack

Reported: May. 27, 2014 11:09 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.VA. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - A West Side stabbing victim talks with Eyewitness News exclusively. She is concerned that the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office is overwhelmed by the Mark Plants case. And worried her accused attacker may not get the proper punishment.

Betty Whiteley was stabbed in the neck 23 times the day before New Year’s Eve. She's a strong lady, who's back to work now at her realty company on the West Side, but suffering from what will be lifelong injuries. Whiteley will likely be on oxygen the rest of her life.

"It takes ten tanks to get me through the week," said Whiteley, who was brutally attacked December 30th in her office.

Police said it was at the hands of Jerry Smith, a stranger she had befriended.

"I'm a drug addict," Smith told us after his arraignment December 30th. Smith admitted he did it.

"Stabbed in the head 23 times!," Whiteley exclaimed as she described her injuries to us. We went back to into her office, so we could see where it all went down.

"I was just sitting here," said Whiteley at her desk. "He's sitting right here. And we're talking,” she said. “You're having a conversation,” we said. “And we're having coffee," said Whiteley.

"You just had coffee with her, then you turn around and attack her. What were you thinking?,” we asked Smith at the Charleston Police Department. “I wasn't thinking," he said, shaking his head sheepishly.

"So I turned around this way and he's still right there," said Whiteley. Smith got up she said and started leafing through the phone book and standing right behind her. A split-second later, she said his hand was around her neck.

"Right there,” she said, showing me by pushing my hand against her neck.” His left hand is holding you right here?," we asked.

"And I'm going oh God no, oh God no, and I'm sliding down into my chair and then I took both hands and went this way," said Whiteley.

Police said she was stabbed over and over with Smith's own screwdriver.

"I had two screwdrivers laying on my desk,” she said with her eyes wide. “None of them had my blood on them."

"This thumb is taking the brunt of that screwdriver, right?,” we asked as she held her hands behind her neck, showing how she tried to shield herself from the blows. “Yes!," she said.

"Blood is all over the floor and he's got my hand, and he's trying to get my rings off," said Whiteley.

Her injuries are extensive.

"You have a forensic nerve,” she explained. “Which runs down both sides of your ears, down to your diaphragm." And which helps the lungs expand when you breathe. Hers are damaged on both sides. It's debatable she said if she will ever get better.

"And I got the words, could, can maybe, and might,” she said. “Those are all positives,” we said. “Yeah, she replied with smiling. “Over time! I did not ask for this! I was being nice! And I will probably be nice the rest of my life. But I didn't ask to be damaged or hurt or put into a position where I can't live my life.”

"I think attempted murder,” she said is what Smith deserves. “I think he needs to be in jail for the rest of his life."

Since Whiteley's main concern is Smith may get a plea deal or some sort of reduced sentence, while she's left damaged for the rest of her life, we did some digging for her.

Smith was indicted on four counts: First-degree armed robbery, which the penalty starts at ten years and can go as high as a judge sets, there is no cap. 1 count of assault during the commission of a felony and two counts of malicious wounding. The last three carry a penalty of 2-10 years.

So if Smith goes to trial and is found guilty on all four counts, doing the math, he could face a minimum of about 16 years, but parole would likely be an option. If the judge throws the book at him, Smith would likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. Just today, Smith's attorney said he's still being evaluated, to see if he's competent to stand trial. It's been moved-up to August 18th.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Police Say Woman Faces Domestic Battery Charge After Hitting Her 2-Year-Old
News
Aug. 27, 2014 10:17 PM EDT
A 21-year-old mother is facing domestic battery charges ...
Full News Story and Video

HPD SWAT Team Raids Apartment Complex, Two People Arrested
News
Aug. 27, 2014 9:41 PM EDT
Two people from Detroit are in a West Virginia jail ...
Full News Story

Hurricane Park Bridge to Be Replaced
News
Aug. 27, 2014 10:37 PM EDT
A popular park in Hurricane will soon get a much needed ...
Full News Story


News Dispatchers Say Man Stabbed Several Times In Huntington
Aug. 27, 2014 10:45 PM EDT
News HP Recalls More Than 5 Million Power Cords
Aug. 27, 2014 7:20 PM EDT
News Riverside High Cook Maintains Innocence Amid Theft Allegations
Aug. 27, 2014 9:29 PM EDT
News Senate, House Leaders Try To Delay Tank Bill Deadline
Aug. 27, 2014 6:58 PM EDT
News Police Say They Believe They Have A Suspect In Connection To Bus Bomb Threat; No Arrests Made
Aug. 27, 2014 6:27 PM EDT
News Cold Spot's Owner Reaches Out For Help In Wake Of Devastating Fire
Aug. 27, 2014 6:22 PM EDT
News Settlement Made With DuPont Over Toxic Releases
Aug. 27, 2014 6:55 PM EDT
News OktoberWest To Feature National Talent
Aug. 27, 2014 7:27 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Say Captured Suspects Were Trying To Start New Lives
Aug. 27, 2014 9:21 PM EDT
News Browns Wide Receiver Gordon Suspended For 2014 Season
Aug. 27, 2014 4:11 PM EDT
News Charges Filed After Man In Wheelchair Begging Along Highway Fatally Shot
Aug. 27, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Army Identifies Soldier Who Shot Self At Virginia Base
Aug. 27, 2014 1:30 PM EDT
News Burger King Hears From Customers About Possible Move To Canada
Aug. 27, 2014 1:26 PM EDT
News Ex-Mail Carrier Sentenced In Drug Case
Aug. 27, 2014 1:20 PM EDT
News MU Opens New Learning Center
Aug. 27, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Grant Money Helps Arts Throughout Mountain State
Aug. 27, 2014 12:39 PM EDT
News Trial Date For Kanawha County Prosecutor Uncertain
Aug. 27, 2014 6:40 PM EDT
News Pre-Paid Cards Being Used To Get Money From Victims
Aug. 27, 2014 12:34 PM EDT
News Military Says Jet That Crashed In Virginia Based In Massachusetts: Status Of Pilot Unknown
Aug. 27, 2014 6:21 PM EDT
News Police Say Suspect Wanted In Murder Could Be In Multiple Cities Throughout WV
Aug. 27, 2014 12:38 PM EDT
News Several Employees Arrested After Alleged Riverside High Thefts
Aug. 27, 2014 12:43 PM EDT
News Interstate 64 Reopens Following Accident
Aug. 27, 2014 9:25 AM EDT
News Wayne Road Repairs Affects Bus Routes
Aug. 26, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News Final Two Suspects Sought In Foodland Robbery Arrested
Aug. 27, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News National Health Groups Demanding Regulations On Booming E-Cig Industry
Aug. 26, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
News After Several Acts of Crime, Neighbors Hoping For Normalcy
Aug. 26, 2014 9:48 PM EDT
News New Upscale Housing Subdivision to Relieve Housing Stress in Hurricane
Aug. 26, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
News Charleston Mayor Calls For Second Review Of Gardner Case
Aug. 26, 2014 9:32 PM EDT
News School Bus Accident Reminds Drivers Of Dangerous Stretch On Route 35
Aug. 26, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Former Logan County Teacher Arrested On Drug-Related Charges
Aug. 26, 2014 6:41 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
House, Senate leaders urge delay in W.Va. tank law

State House and Senate leaders are urging the governor to call a special session to delay part of an aboveground storage tank law.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Kentucky gets $20 million grant for energy study

Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky to new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry.
Full Story

Ohio News
5 groups to watch as Election Day nears

The final two months of campaigning in Ohio will determine if Republicans continue their four-year control of statewide offices topped by governor, and of both chambers of the state Legislature. Here are five political groups that are seeking to wield their influence:
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.