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.