LEXINGTON — A judge dismissed two charges against a Buena Vista man Monday after a witness failed to appear for testimony.
Codee McHale Clark, 30, faced charges of malicious wounding and entering a house while armed in Rockbridge County Circuit Court. Judge Anita Filson granted a motion to dismiss the charges because a vital witness didn’t show up for the trial.
Filson sentenced Clark to one year in prison last month in Buena Vista Circuit Court for charges stemming from the same incident. In July 2018, Clark threatened to hurt himself and his family before wounding the mother of his child in their home and holding her hostage.
She eventually escaped to a neighbor’s house, which was just across the city line in Rockbridge County. Clark followed her there, which brought the charges from the county.
In Buena Vista, Clark pleaded guilty to abduction and unlawful wounding. Filson said the crimes were serious, but she chose to be lenient because the woman involved did not want Clark sent to jail and did not ask for a restraining order.
Clark has a history of family trauma and suicide attempts. Buena Vista Commonwealth’s Attorney Christopher Russell said the incident was a substance-abuse issue and Clark will be required to undergo whatever treatment — for substance abuse or mental health — that is necessary. Clark will also be on probation for four years following his release.