Va. Woman Pleads Guilty in Adopted Daughter's Death
By Johnathan Mummolo
A Prince William County woman pleaded guilty this morning to leaving her adopted 13-year-old daughter for dead in a frigid creek in January -- as well as to abusing the girl and lying to police -- in a case that has highlighted shortcomings in the county's policies on child abuse and runaways.
Alfreedia Leona Gregg-Glover, 45, of the Manassas area, pleaded guilty to felony murder, felony child abuse and filing a false police report in Prince William County Circuit Court. She faces a maximum of 51 years in prison, which the county's chief prosecutor called "an effective life sentence," and will be sentenced in October.
During today's hearing, police cited in testimony more than a dozen incidents dating back to 2004 -- far more then had previously been known -- in which various people reported finding Lexie with bruises and cuts, being driven off in the trunk of a car, running away from home and showing up to the bus stop wearing only a diaper. Lexie also was hospitalized several times, police said.
In one incident in March 2004, officials received a complaint that Lexie was sleeping on the floor, and that Gregg-Glover called her names and denied her underwear because she had wet the bed, police testified.
Since Lexie's death, several of her former neighbors and bus drivers have recounted several instances in which they reported suspected abuse to authorities -- reports that failed to get Lexie removed from the home.
After the hearing, Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert called the case, "a true horror story," and said he hopes a judge will impose the maximum sentence.
"There's no question a lot of mistakes were made in this case, by both the Department of Social Services and the police department," said Ebert, adding that both agencies are taking steps to reform their practices to prevent a repeat of the case.
Following the hearing, Prince William County police released the results of an internal investigation into the handling of Lexie's case. The report found that police and other agencies had "multiple contacts" with Lexie over the years and that Gregg-Glover intentionally mischaracterized the status of her daughter during those contacts. It also found inadequate communication between DSS and police, and inconsistent practices by police when responding to the incidents.
Three "sworn staff members" at the police department were disciplined for not following "department policy" in the case, police said in a statement.
"Part of our responsibility is to safeguard children from harm, and it is deeply disturbing to me that we failed to do so in Lexie Glover's case," Police Chief Charlie T. Deane in a statement. "While there is only one person who caused her death, and that is her mother, Alfreedia Glover, I would be remiss in not stating that there are some things we could have, and should have, done differently in prior investigations with this family."
The report recommends reforms in the training, investigative procedures and interagency communication.
Felony murder is defined as the killing of another without premeditation while committing another felony -- in this case, child abuse, prosecutors said. A charge against Gregg-Glover of first degree murder was dropped.
A call to Gregg-Glover's attorney, John V. Notarianni, was not immediately returned after the hearing.