Trial begins Monday for man accused of stealing car with baby inside

An Elkview man accused of stealing a car with a 9-month-old baby in the backseat will go to trial on Monday.

Christopher Linville, 20, pleaded not guilty late last month to charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and child neglect creating substantial risk of bodily injury.

He was scheduled to enter a plea in Friday’s hearing but decided against it because his lawyer says Linville didn’t know the child was in the car.

The case goes back to January where a Charleston mother left her car running with her baby inside while she went into a convenience store. While she was inside, prosecutors say Linville took the car and the baby with it.

Police later found the car with the baby inside in a wooded area off of Kanawha Boulevard. Linville fled but police later found him hiding at a friend’s home half a mile away.

Linville’s attorney Edward Rebrook said the case was really more analogous to joyriding, noting his client was cold and hungry and took the car to “get from Point A to Point B.” Rebrook said Linville did not, however, know the baby was in the backseat.

Rebrook also said it wasn’t Linville’s intention to keep the car.

Contact writer Andrea Lannom at or 304-348-5148. Follow her at

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