Judge sentences woman in case

Jessica Talbott

WOODSTOCK – A woman must take a parenting class after pleading guilty to keeping children around during a drug deal.

Jessica Danielle Talbott, 27, with a last known address of 29156 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg, appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday for trial.

A plea agreement reached between Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola and Talbott’s lawyer, Daryl Funk, called for the defendant to plea guilty to three counts of child endangerment. Under the deal, the court dismissed six other counts of the same charge at the request of the commonwealth.

Talbott’s charges stem from an undercover operation in which a confidential informant working for the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force sold oxycodone to co-defendant Sol William Vandenbergh. Talbott was not charged with any drug-related crimes.

The informant met with Vandenbergh in a room at a hotel near Strasburg on Feb. 25, 27 and March 11, 2014, Campola explained. On each occasion the informant sold oxycodone to Vandenbergh and three small children were present as was Talbott, Campola said. Funk did not object to Campola’s proffer of the evidence.

Per the plea agreement, Hupp sentenced Talbott to three years in prison for all charges. Child endangerment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Hupp suspended the entire sentence and ordered Talbott to serve one year of supervised probation followed by one year of unsupervised probation. One of the conditions of her probation, per the agreement, is that Talbott complete a parenting class. Talbott already voluntarily enrolled in a class, Funk told Hupp.

Sentencing guidelines, which the judge does not have to follow, call for Talbott, who has no prior felony convictions, to receive probation and no time for incarceration.

“Drug deals can go bad,” Hupp told Talbott. “Do you understand that drugs are dangerous?”

Hupp sentenced Vandenbergh on Feb. 18 to serve one year and six months of a five-year prison term for committing two counts of child endangerment and one of drug distribution. The crimes occurred on Feb. 25, 2014. Vandenbergh also received a seven-month jail sentence for possession of drugs on July 16, almost two months after a grand jury indicted him on the distribution charge and child endangerment charges.

Vandenbergh, 28, pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to the three charges. Under an agreement between the commonwealth and Vandenbergh’s attorney, Michael A. Araj, the court dismissed two drug distribution counts and seven charges of child endangerment.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com