Mitchell County Deputies have arrested a mother and her boyfriend on child abuse charges. Savannah Leigh McKinney, age 31, of 2033 Swiss Pine Lake Drive Apartment 2, Spruce Pine, faces two charges.
Captain R.V. Wiseman advised Wednesday evening around 7:00 p.m., Mitchell 911 Center received numerous calls of a man and a small child standing in the parking lot at Grassy Creek Country Club. When these callers confronted the male, he advised them they were waiting on the school bus.
Deputy J.D. Holmes arrived and found a male later identified as Josh Whitson dressed in all black and a 5 year old male juvenile dressed in black. Whitson and the boy saw Deputy Holmes drive up and started running towards him and was almost struck by a vehicle.
Deputy Holmes asked Whitson what they were doing at this location and Whitson said, “Waiting on the school bus.” Deputy Holmes asked Whitson if he knew it was 7:30 in the evening. Whitson stated, “Yes, the school bus would be here in a minute.”
Deputy Holmes detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Whitson’s breath. Deputy Holmes asked Whitson how much he had drunk. Whitson advised too much. Deputy Holmes asked Whitson if he was the little boy’s father. Whitson stated, “No.”
After talking a little longer with Whitson, Deputy Holmes was able to determine the little boy’s mother was McKinney.
Lt. J.A. Biddix arrived and advised Deputy Holmes, McKinney lived in Apartment #2 at 2033 Swiss Pine Lake Drive. Lt. Biddix stayed with the child and Whitson while Deputy Holmes tried to locate the mother.
Deputy Holmes went to the apartment and was unable to locate McKinney. A neighbor told the deputy, McKinney had not been home in several days.
Deputy Holmes went back to talk with Whitson. Whitson then advised the deputy, McKinney was at a friend’s house behind Subway on Old 226.
Deputy Holmes then went to the residence behind the Subway. Deputy Holmes walked upon the front porch and observed McKinney sitting in a recliner. McKinney appeared to be upset. Deputy Holmes also observed several more subjects in the house. Deputy Holmes had to knock on the door several minutes before McKinney acknowledged he was there. McKinney finally got up and opened the door. Deputy Holmes detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from McKinney’s breath, she was unsteady on her feet, and was swaying back and forth in a figure eight motion.
Deputy Holmes asked McKinney if she knew Whitson. McKinney advised she knew Whitson he was her boyfriend. Deputy Holmes asked McKinney where Whitson was at. McKinney advised Whitson had gone to take her son to meet the school bus.
The other individuals at this residence were also highly intoxicated.
Deputy Holmes asked McKinney if she would submit to an Alco Sensor test of her breath. McKinney consented to the test and her result were twice the legal limit to drive.
Lt. Biddix ran a check on Whitson through NC AWARE and found he had an outstanding warrant from Yancey County. Lt. Biddix took Whitson into custody for Yancey County Deputies.
Lt. Biddix advised Deputy Holmes, he taking the child and Whitson to Spruce Pine Police Department. Lt. Biddix then advised Deputy Holmes to bring McKinney to Spruce Pine Police Department.
The deputies contacted Mitchell County DSS and had them meet them at the Police Department also. DSS turned the five year child over to a concerned friend of the family.
Deputy Holmes obtained arrest warrants on McKinney for child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
McKinney is held in jail on a $2500.00 secured bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on November 6, 2013.
Whitson was turned over to Yancey County Deputies on their warrants and is being held in jail on those charges.
Deputy Holmes obtained arrest warrants on Whitson for child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Whitson is held in Yancey County Jail awaiting a bond hearing on the above charges.