Man pleads guilty to strangulation, child neglect following three-county pursuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man who led police on a three-county pursuit with his young child in the backseat of his car earlier this year has pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the incident.

Dakota Taylor, 20, of Nitro, during a virtual hearing Monday in Kanawha County Circuit Court, admitted to charges of strangulation and child neglect creating risk of bodily injury or death.

Taylor told Judge Tera Salango he put his hands on his wife’s throat at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston on March 3.

“That was without her consent, correct?” the judge asked Taylor.

“Yes, your honor,” Taylor replied.

“You caused her bodily injury and loss of consciousness?” the judge went on to ask Taylor.

Again he replied, “Yes, your honor.”

Prosecutors said Taylor then fled from police with his one-year-old son in the back seat when they tried to stop him in the parking lot.

“They did bust the window out of the vehicle in an effort to get him out of the vehicle prior to him accelerating almost hitting a police officer, fleeing, getting on the interstate, traveling in speeds of excess of over 100 miles per hour with the child in the back seat of that vehicle,” Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Debra Rusnak explained to the court.

The pursuit spanned across Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties mostly on U.S. Route 60 and ended in the community of Culloden.

Taylor is being held at the Western Regional Jail and faces other charges in Putnam County. Taylor’s attorney David Anderson said charges in Cabell County have been dismissed.

Taylor will be sentenced on the Kanawha County charges on Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m.

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