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Man pleads guilty to dumping woman's body in a ditch after drug overdose
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Man pleads guilty to dumping woman's body in a ditch after drug overdose

Dontae Sanders (copy)


A man who dumped a woman’s dead body in a ditch after she overdosed on drugs he gave her pleaded guilty to two charges Wednesday in Stafford County Circuit Court.

Dontae M. Sanders, 28, of Woodbridge, was convicted of distributing illegal drugs and concealing a dead body. A felony murder charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced May 24.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amy Casey, the Stafford Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call early Oct. 6, 2019, alerting police that a woman’s body was in a ditch in the area of the pond off Whispering Pines Lane. The victim was later identified as 28-year-old Ashley Nicole Childs of Stafford.

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The ensuing investigation eventually led police to Sanders, who was in West Virginia when detectives went to speak with him several days later.

He told police that he’d picked up Childs that morning to do drugs together, something they had done before. He admitted giving her “some dope,” but wasn’t sure if it was heroin. Child’s cause of death is listed as “acute fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication.”

After about 15 minutes, according to the story, Childs started “acting all crazy.” He said that after she sat up, then laid down in the back seat, he began slapping, hitting and using ice on her in an effort to revive her.

After realizing she was gone, court records state, Sanders said he “panicked” and decided to leave her on the side of the road.

“I didn’t know what to do, man, I was on probation up here,” Sanders was quoted as saying. “I couldn’t turn her in.”

Sanders said he initially intended to leave the body in Child’s front yard, but dragged her to the location where she was found after getting advice from a “crackhead” he knew. He said he intentionally left Childs in a place where she would be easily found.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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