By: Patti Weaver

(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater woman — who has been sought for more than a year on a charge of embezzling money from her employer — has been charged with abusing her children, ages 6 and 7, by having them inside her van when she allegedly intentionally ran into her ex-husband’s vehicle head-on with her vehicle.

Vanessa Avila, 28, for whom an arrest warrant was issued last week on a child abuse charge, has not yet appeared in court on either felony case, court records show.

Avila’s ex-husband said that she was going to drop off his children at his job so that he could have them while she was at work on July 5, Stillwater Police Officer Stephanie Wheeler wrote in an affidavit.

Her ex-husband “stated that when he arrived, he parked on the opposite side of the parking lot than Vanessa. The two children were unloaded from the van that Vanessa was driving,” the affidavit said.

But after the adults began arguing, Avila loaded the children back up and got in the van to leave, the affidavit alleged.

“The location of the business is at a dead-end of a road that turns into a parking lot. To access the parking lot, you have to go down a hill with a curved road. Vanessa drives away with the children and goes up the hill. She then turns around, ‘revs the engine’ and goes down the hill,” and hit’s her ex-husband’s vehicle head-on with her van, while her children were in her van, the affidavit alleged.

Her ex-husband said “he could hear his kids screaming and crying. Vanessa then turns around and leaves. Vanessa put her children in harm’s way when she intentionally drove into (his) vehicle causing significant damage,” the affidavit alleged.

Video surveillance showed that her van arrived at 8:33 a.m., her ex-husband’s vehicle arrived at 8:40 am., her vehicle left at 8:44 a.m. and then hit his vehicle at 8:48 a.m. on July 5, the affidavit alleged.

More than a year ago Avila was charged, but never appeared in court on a felony case accusing her of embezzling more than $1,000 from her then-employer, Supercuts in Stillwater, between May 20, 2017, and Oct. 20, 2017, court records show.

If convicted of embezzlement, Avila could be given as much as a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine. If convicted of abuse of her children, Avila could be given as much as a life prison term and a $5,000 fine, court records show.

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