Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY

Wendell Smallwood enjoyed a promising freshman season in 2013, but his future at West Virginia is murky as he waits extradition to Delaware for charges of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood is scheduled for extradition to Delaware on Thursday where he faces charges of witness intimidation involving a 2012 homicide.

The 20-year-old sophomore has been jailed since Monday when members of the Delaware attorney general’s office and Wilmington police interviewed Smallwood in Morgantown and arrested him as a fugitive from justice.

He faces a felony charge of witness tampering after allegedly calling a murder witness during March and May of 2013 and asking the witness to make false statements to Wilmington police regarding the shooting death of Wilmington resident Manuel Oliveras, 51, in April 2012.

Smallwood had enrolled at West Virginia in January 2013, the same month police say his hometown friend Zakee Lloyd was charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Oliveras.

The Monongalia County prosecutor’s office told MetroNews that Delaware law enforcement officials intend to collect Smallwood on Thursday.

Smallwood’s season, and indeed his career at WVU, are in peril. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder was viewed as the Mountaineers’ most versatile running back with a skills set comparable to NFL third-round pick Charles Sims.

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who heads to Dallas for Big 12 media days next Tuesday, hasn’t announced any disciplinary action regarding Smallwood. Holgorsen’s only response in the three days since the arrest was to say he is monitoring Smallwood’s situation and will act at the appropriate time.

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  • Foxguy26554

    Maybe we need more details before we determine his guilt. He is definitely guilty of making a terrible choice. Hopefully his being an athlete will not warrant them treating him different either direction for the act. A phone call definitely is against the law, but maybe not to the degree as personal confrontation or putting your hands on the person. Let's hope for his sake he learns from this.

  • Capt. Obvious

    Have any of you legal eagles considered the possibility that the murder trial starts August 4th and Wendell is being squeezed 3 weeks prior to said trial for info that might be helpful in getting the prosecutor the coveted conviction. Who cares if a young man's career is ruined so long as they get the conviction.

    Or you could believe that Wendell committed the crime in the March/May 2013 time period and the cops have just been too busy to get around to talking to him until now.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Smallwood has to learn the value of a human life.

    • Harpers Ferry

      So, are you saying that he should go into slave trading? I think he's about 160+ years too late.

  • Rooster

    Another punk screws up his life and career.......(yawn)

  • Harpers Ferry

    When will WV extradite Dana back to Texas?

    • shawn

      "When will WV extradite Dana back to Texas?"


  • ThatGuyOverThere

    This should be a wake up call to young people...You have to answer for what you have done, your status as an athlete or whatever doesn't matter when you do stupid acts.

  • Mike

    Not surprised by those advocating that all should be forgiven because the lad plays football. Therein lies the issue of perpetuating the ideations that athletes/celebrities are exempt from consequences of their actions. If he's proven innocent, so be it. If not and he's proved to be a thug, he should incur the consequences. A non-athlete/celebrity would likely get hammered and no one would care.

  • oldman

    This over a phone call?

    Why didn't the person on the end just hang up? isn't the person on the other end of the phone aiding and allowing a crime to happen without just hanging up?

    These people need the phone book thrown at them...

    (phonebook was this thing long time ago that people used to find phone numbers in & it was a large book)

    I know what is happening here is not funny but I could not resist, I am sorry for that...

    • The other Mr Ed

      You are a fool to blame the victum of a crime for the crime! I guess you would want the victum of a drunk driver be at fault for the accident b/c the should have avoided the on coming car!

      • Capt. Obvious

        you are a fool to spell victim, victum.

    • Art in Ohio

      A phone call????

      It's not the situation I had in my mind.

      I watch to much TV for I believed it was a face to face situation where someone was going to get hurt.

      Will have to wait and see what happens.

  • 1olewvufan

    Everyone wants Smallwood out of jail and back on WVU's football team. If he is guilty, then he should pay the price for his criminal act.

    Witness intimidation is a growing issue in the U.S. New laws with increased jail time is not only occurring in Delaware but other states.

    Drug dealers all gangs member intimating witnesses has become a major issue, and in many cases impeding police investigations.

    I don't know if Smallwood is guilty or not, and it will be up to a Grand Jury to decide if there is enough evidence to prosecute Smallwood.

    If Smallwood is guilty, then he needs to do his time.

    • WVURob

      Prosecutor can get charges on anyone for anything....I'd bet my law practice, this situation, he's using Wendell's status as a FB player, against him, so he will testify for the prosecution... It's a classic tactic, you help us or we'll ruin your life...

  • jay zoom

    I seem to remember that a few other WVU athletes were immediately suspended from the team (football - basketball) pending the outcome of their legal problems. Holgerson must have to consult with Oliver Luck before he can make any decisions. that's what puppets do.

  • Chef Camille

    Hopefully someone is directing him to a competent attorney. Needless to say football is the least of his worries.

  • Alex

    The charges sounds like it may be he said he said, with out a eyewitness or recording, charges could be dropped.....I like Smallwood he could be very productive for WVU, and move on in life.....Hope that's the way it turns out....

  • Old Log Driver.

    This kid definitely needs to have all charges dropped. He can play football. Being involved with criminal enterprise and murderers is just a natural extension of the atmosphere. Damn. Who do these prosecutors think they are, anyway. Next thing they'll want to start holding them responsible for every little rape and robbery they commit. Call your congressman. Call your senator. All football players should be held immune from prosecution for ANY crime the poor little dears commit. Right? IDIOTS!

  • Sam

    We need to pull some strings & get this kid out of jail & back on the field. The real crime is not allowing him to showcase his talents on the turf where he belongs.

    It's a great day to be a Mountaineer!

    • griff

      What if it had been your BROTHER, SON, UNCLE or your DAD that had been MURDERED? Would you still want some strings pulled???? It is a sad day to claim to be a mountaineer when your priority is football instead of justice. You are pitiful, pitiful

  • WVU1

    This is a really sad situation. It's disturbing what the environment is like that these kids come from. From a life standpoint, I hope the charges are overblown and he will get another shot at success.