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Charges dropped in case of 2-year-old who tested positive for drugs

Rebecca Tesner and James Penland were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in September. (Photo credit: McDowell County Sheriff's Office)

Criminal charges were dropped against a McDowell County woman whose 2-year-old grandson tested positive for oxycodone and marijuana, according to District Attorney Ted Bell.

Rebecca Tesner and James Penland were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in September 2017.

Penland was expected to head to court Wednesday for a hearing to drop his charges.

Meanwhile, the grandmother said she was dying and would just like to see her grandson one more time.

She said county social workers took her grandson away, in August 2017, and had no idea why the boy would test positive for drugs.

“I would give my life just to have my grandson right now. There's no words that can express the hurt that a grandmother feels when someone rips her blood away," Tesner said.

Charges were being dropped because the hair sample—that tested positive—was sent to an out-of-state lab and prosecutors were unable to get the lab worker, who tested the hair, to come testify for trial.

"We are looking at seeing if we can get that hair sample returned, so we can send it to the state crime lab. Just because the charges are dismissed, at this point, does not prohibit us from recharging," Bell said.

Criminal charges were being dropped, but the grandparents were found to be negligent during a Department of Social Services court proceeding. So, the child remained with DSS.


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