The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

June 11, 2013

Judge orders woman to stand trial in incident

NEOSHO, Mo. — A judge on Tuesday ordered a 32-year-old Joplin woman bound over for trial on charges of felonious restraint and attempted escape arising from a young mother’s attempt to help her after a traffic accident.

Associate Circuit Judge Gregory Stremel found probable cause for Rachelle Nance to stand trial on the charges at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Newton County Circuit Court.

Angela Cotton, 28, testified at the hearing that she witnessed an accident March 12 near Route K and Maple Drive west of Neosho. She told the court that a vehicle driven by Nance almost struck her vehicle before entering a ditch. She stopped to see if Nance was all right, and Nance got in her car, stated that someone was trying to kill her and ordered her to drive.

Cotton had her 3-year-old daughter and newborn baby with her in the vehicle and wanted to stop in Racine and get help, but Nance would not at first let her, she told the court. At one point, Cotton tried to call 911 for help, and Nance grabbed the phone from her and terminated the call, she said.

Eventually, she managed to stop at the Racine Fire Department and got her children out of the car, at which point the defendant grabbed her keys from her and tried to take the vehicle but could not get it started, she told the court. Cotton then tried to get away from her by running to the post office with her children, but Nance followed.

A Newton County sheriff’s deputy arrived while they were at the post office, and Nance was taken into custody. Deputy Chad Duehring testified at the hearing that the defendant appeared to be under the influence of drugs. A used syringe was found in her pocket, he said.

The escape charge was added when Nance allegedly slipped out of a pair of handcuffs after her arrest, climbed out of the back of a patrol car and tried to get in another vehicle. She also is facing charges of tampering with a motor vehicle and driving under the influence. The vehicle that wound up in the ditch had been stolen.

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