Police: WVU RB intimidated witness in murder case
West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood outraces Georgia State cornerback Demarius Matthews on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.
Photo by Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood will be transported to his hometown of Wilmington, Del., to face a charge that he intimidated a witness in a murder case.
Smallwood was arrested Monday night in Morgantown, W.Va., by the University Police Department and is being held in North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County.
“Wendell Smallwood contacted a witness and attempted to get the witness to recant their version of the story and make false statements to the police,” said Cpl. Mark Ivey, spokesman for the Wilmington police department.
Ivey confirmed that Smallwood threatened the witness with “physical harm” but did not elaborate.
In January 2013, Smallwood's friend, Zakee Lloyd, was arrested on first-degree murder charges for allegedly shooting to death another Wilmington man. Smallwood, a freshman at WVU last year, is accused of making his threats by phone in March and May of 2013. He enrolled at WVU in January 2013.
Smallwood, 20, is expected to be extradited to Wilmington by officials of the Delaware attorney general's office “no later than Thursday,” said Larry Messina, spokesman for West Virginia's Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Messina said it was unlikely Smallwood would be moved before Wednesday.
“I have been briefed on the situation regarding Wendell Smallwood,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement Tuesday. We are looking into the matter and will take action at the appropriate time.”
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound Smallwood was one of several running backs who figured to help replace All-Big 12 and conference newcomer of the year Charles Sims, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round.
Smallwood gained 221 yards and scored a touchdown on 39 carries (a 5.7 average), caught 11 passes for 132 yards and returned 30 kickoffs for 541 yards.
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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