Jessica Abner said she was just walking out of Rural Acres Clinic, reading a list, when Gregg Shelor held the door open for her — an act that apparently upset his girlfriend, Nicole Hood.

Abner said the two strangers said nothing to her in the parking lot, that she got in her car and they got in Shelor’s car. They drove away, Shelor and Hood in front and Abner behind. They happened to be traveling the same direction.

“The next thing I know, we’re at the top of the hill, and they’re cursing, swinging a ball bat at me, swerving and everything else,” Abner said Friday as she waited at Raleigh County Magistrate Court for a hearing that never took place regarding an Oct. 20 case police have termed as “road rage.”

Shelor, 23, of Sweeneysburg — charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly running over Abner — had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday morning, but some problems with paperwork delayed the appointment of a court-appointed attorney for him, Magistrate Charles Humphrey said. So Shelor agreed to have his preliminary hearing reset after he obtains an attorney. He remains free on $50,000 bond.

Hood, 18, of Maple Fork, remained in Southern Regional Jail Friday. She is charged with malicious wounding for allegedly striking Abner with a baseball bat. Magistrate John Tanner lowered her bond to $20,000 Friday, though her attorney requested it be reduced from $50,000 to $10,000. She had not made bond as of late Friday afternoon.

Her preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Friday afternoon, but her court-appointed attorney was unavailable, so she also agreed to have her hearing rescheduled.

Abner said she followed the couple to an area near Beckley Crossing, where she came window-to-window with Hood.

“I said, ‘I don’t know what your problem is, but I don’t have time for it,’” Abner said.

Still, she continued to follow them toward Harper Road; that’s where she was going anyway, she said.

Why follow them?

“To see what they wanted,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that I followed them. Anyone has the right to follow anybody in this country.”

Shelor continued to unnecessarily apply the brakes, and gestures continued all the way to Harper Road, where both vehicles stopped near the northbound entrance to the West Virginia Turnpike. Abner got out of her car and approached Shelor’s vehicle on the passenger said, she said.

“She (Hood) whacked me in the head (with a baseball bat) and knocked me out,” she said. “ ... I didn’t touch either one of them.”

According to police reports, Shelor then ran over Abner with the car and dragged her for a short distance.

Hood’s family said they find Abner’s version of the story hard to believe.

“Nicole told me personally that the only reason she would strike anybody is because she was trying to get that girl off Gregg,” Hood’s stepmother, Mary Hood, said.

Mary Hood said her stepdaughter told her Abner spoke offensively to Shelor and made gestures to them, and that Nicole Hood feared for Shelor’s safety when she saw Abner get out of the vehicle.

“Anybody that knows Nicole Hood knows she’s the biggest chicken in the world,” Mary Hood said.

Abner, 95 pounds, said she missed six days of work as a result of being run over and, more importantly, six days away from her 5-year-old while she spent a week in the hospital.

“Today has been eight days since it happened,” she said, raising her pant leg to reveal several dark bruises. “The doctor said I may need physical therapy.

“I followed them. That doesn’t make them have the right to hit me,” she said.

— E-mail:

bnaudrey@register-herald.com

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