On The Run For 15 Years - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/21/04

On The Run For 15 Years

The workers at Coastal Farm Supply in Gulfport knew her as Jeneane Wendling. Wendling started working at the business four years ago and she quit in September. Her former co-workers never dreamed she was a wanted felon.

"There was no way, I mean I had to read it again and I looked at the picture and it was her," says Kelvin Peterson.

Another worker, Chris Fitzpatrick says, "I guess it can be anybody. You just don't know people's past, you don't know people like you think you do."

Her full name is Donna Jeneane Wendling. Harrison County sheriff's investigators say an Albuquerque grand jury indicted her in 1989 on drugs and weapons charges.

"She was aware of the charges that Albuquerque holds for her but she thought they were disposed of. She was shocked but not real upset. She was shocked that the warrants had surfaced that are still in place there," says Captain Ron Pullen.

Wendling went before a judge Wednesday. Pullen says she's fighting extradition. That means the New Mexico authorities must get their governor to sign a warrant for her return to that state. Governor Haley Barbour must sign the warrant too.

It could take another 30 days for Wendling to go back to New Mexico. In the meantime, Pullen says she'll stay in jail.

"As long as Albuquerque, New Mexico has a hold placed on her based on their NCIC hit, she can not bond out."

Donna Wendling's attorney, Doyle Coats, says he's working to get her released from jail. Coats would not comment further.

byMarcia Hill

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