Note: Virginia Jennelle pleaded no contest to a reduced first-degree misdemeanor charge of battery on May 5, 2016, and was sentenced to 12 months probation and required to have no contact with the victim, pay fines and enroll in anger management. Adjudication was withheld.
Virginia Jennelle, a 52-year-old resident of Pine Grove Drive in Palm Coast, was upset that her 14-year-old daughter was texting pictures of herself, unclothed. So in Jennelle’s telling to police, she threw food items and containers at her daughter, poured food all over her, struck her on the face with a broom, opening a wound that bled profusely, and fled the house.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office got the call from the girl about the altercation just after 3 p.m. Tuesday. She’d gone to seek help at a neighbor’s house, where the responding deputy found the girl bleeding from the head and crying hysterically, according to her mother’s arrest report.
In the kitchen where the altercation took place, “there was blood all over the floor,” along with shards of glass, “mustard and other types of liquid splattered all over the kitchen floor and walls.” The girl, who was treated for her injuries at Florida Hospital Flagler, told police that her mother had been “on edge” about provocative pictures she’d sent over the internet, so her mother “went nuts,” grabbing mustard, hot tomato juice, ketchup, butter knives and spoons and throwing them at her. Jennelle, according to her daughter, then got a broom and allegedly struck her in the head with it. When Jennelle saw her daughter bleeding, “she became scared and left the residence because she did not want to get into trouble for what she did.”
Fearing her daughter would run away, she poured food items at her to make her unpresentable.
As it turns out, her arrest report states, Jennelle drove to “several different locations in Palm Coast” before going to the city’s substation at City Market Place. She told authorities she was having chest pains, and said she knew she was going to jail but didn’t want to get in trouble for what she did. She was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler to be evaluated for her chest pains, and there, according to a deputy, she was “very loud and dramatic and unable to be understood.” The deputy did not ask her any questions, but according to the report she herself volunteered an account of what had happened, corroborating the matter of the pictures.
Jennelle said “she felt as though her daughter was tormenting her because she was laughing when [Jennelle] tried to discipline her, so she became enraged,” the arrest report states. Jennelle “said she thought her daughter was going to run away so she poured and threw several food items at her to make her unpresentable to leave the residence.” She then “struck her daughter in the forehead with the broom because she just ‘lost it.'”
As ordinary people who find themselves in similarly unmoored circumstances, Jennelle said she didn’t want to go to jail and just wanted the whole matter to go away as long as she had help from the Department of Children and Families to keep her family together. But, the report states, she “did not appear to understand the severity of what occurred between her and her daughter.” She also conceded that her daughter never struck her, nor provoked her as if she were going to strike her.
The physician who tended to the girl’s laceration on her forehead said a scar was likely.
Jennelle was booked on a second-degree felony charge which, if convicted, could expose her to 15 years in prison. Bond was set at $25,000. She posted bail and was released, but was issued an order of no contact with her daughter. Unless the charge is dropped, she is to be arraigned before Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman on May 2 at 8:30 p.m.