MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Berkeley County woman convicted of violating her black neighbors' civil rights could lose her probation after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge.
Kendra N. Sulick of Bedington Road entered her plea Monday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.
The 39-year-old Sulick received five years' probation last November after she was convicted of three civil rights violations.
Sulick is accused of repeatedly hurling racial slurs and profanities at her neighbors, driving an all-terrain vehicle on one occasion repeatedly through the victims' backyard while shouting racial slurs, harassing the family by running chainsaws in the middle of the night, threatening the victims' children and at times driving a truck directly at the family at a high rate of speed, as well as other alleged offenses. Poole also was accused by the victims of shooting two of their dogs.
Eventually, the family contacted the West Virginia Attorney General's Office and filed a complaint with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, which led to charges following an investigation by Lt. B.F. Hall of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.
"We were scared," Smith said.
Sulick is represented by local attorney Christopher Prezioso, who contends that Sulick's alleged actions were not racially motivated. He told jurors the case was simply about an ongoing neighbor dispute.
"This is a case about two neighboring families who couldn't get along. This is not a case about racism or a hate crime no matter how much the state wants you to believe that," he said.
Berkeley County assistant prosecutor Stephanie Saunders tells The Journal that a probation revocation hearing is set for April 25 in circuit court. Sulick will remain in custody at the Eastern Regional Jail pending the outcome of that hearing.
She received a 24-hour jail sentence on the DUI charge with credit for time served. She also was fined $100.
A co-defendant in the case, 50-year-old Bruce Aaron Poole, who lived with Sulick at the time of the alleged hate crimes, is scheduled to go to trial later this year on similar charges.