Share This Page
WVU

Police: WVU RB intimidated witness in murder case

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 10:48 a.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
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.

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 bcohn@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.