By Caroline Boras
An Amherst woman could face life in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday in Rockbridge Circuit Court to charges of conspiracy and abduction with intent to defile.
Aliesha George, 33, who had been indicted by a grand jury Feb. 2, was returned to the county jail to await sentencing.
The victim, Rockbridge County resident Elizabeth Pringle, testified at the trial on Wednesday.
On the evening of Nov. 4, Pringle received a text message from George that said George’s car needed to be jumpstarted.
In court, Pringle said she asked where George was. Her response: looking at you from the river.
Pringle lives in an apartment complex on Beans River Bottom Road near the Maury River. She drove her car to the clearing where George said she and her boyfriend, Michael Faidley, had been fishing.
When Pringle arrived in the clearing, Faidley told her they didn’t have jumper cables. Pringle said she offered to walk to get cables, since the apartment complex was only a few hundred feet away.
As they started to walk up the hill back to the apartment, Pringle said Faidley grabbed her around her neck and knocked her to the ground. She began to scream.
Hannah Glick, one of Pringle’s neighbors, testified at the trial that she heard the screams and called the police. It sounded “like a murder,” she told the court.
Pringle said that Faidley tried to force her into the car, which George started without the jump. At one point, she was all the way in the car, but managed to escape.
Thomas “T.J.” Haver told the court that he heard the screams while he was unloading groceries from his car. He had a friend drive him to the top of the hill, near the scene of the attack.
When George and Faidley saw the car, they fled in their car, but not before Haver stood in the road to stop them and questioned them through the passenger window about the screaming. Haver said they drove away when Pringle started screaming again.
Haver said he found Pringle at the bottom of the hill with leaves in her hair, torn clothes and hyperventilating. He called the police, who were already on the way from the earlier call.
Pringle testified that she had told investigators that George and Faidley were her attackers.
The police had a hard time finding George and Faidley, who live together in Amherst. On Nov. 5, the Amherst County police obtained a warrant for their arrest, but the two were not home when police arrived to arrest them.
An investigator testified that family members had told George that the police were looking for her and Faidley.
On Nov. 6, George and Faidley went to the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office to see why they were being sought. They were arrested.
Three officers involved in the investigation told the court it took time for them to figure out what happened, but eventually came to the conclusion that George and Faidley abducted Pringle for sex.
In a recorded interview by an investigator that was played during the trial, George said she did not know what was going to happen after she sent the text asking for a jumpstart, but she and Faidley talked about “getting her” when Pringle arrived.
Joshua O. Elrod, George’s court-appointed attorney, moved that the charges of conspiracy and intent to defile be struck, but Jared Moon, the chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney, argued against this. He said the recording showed that there was both conspiracy and intent to defile. Judge Michael Irvine, who was presiding over the trial, denied Elrod’s motion.
It was then that George switched to a guilty plea. Irvine dismissed the jury and scheduled George’s sentencing for June 14.
Faidley, who was originally George’s co-defendant, is scheduled to be tried on April 27 on a charge of abduction with intent to defile.