Documents reveal troubled past of Charleston attorney - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Documents reveal troubled past of Charleston attorney

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Troubles are not new to a Charleston attorney, who was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries after police say he was involved in a standoff in his Charleston neighborhood.

The incident began at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 when police say Mark Bramble, 49, fired multiple shots at officers from inside his 105 Cornwall Lane home.

His wife, who escaped safely, told police that Bramble had been "having some issues." Police found handguns, shotguns and rifles inside the home.

Bramble's wife also said her husband said someone was trying to get him. Police said Bramble may have undergone treatment at a hospital Aug. 11.

After the standoff, Bramble was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Sherwood Forest Road was blocked at Corridor G for a few hours and residents were asked to stay inside their homes until the situation was resolved.  Nearby Kenna Elementary School also was placed on lockdown.

In an Aug. 12 news conference focusing on Medicare scams, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey took a brief time to mention today's standoff, saying he was saddened by the incident.

Morrisey released a statement earlier that day after the arrest, saying his office heard reports that the incident involved Bramble.

Bramble was hired to work in the workers compensation division in June of last year and resigned last week.  His resignation would go into effect Aug. 30.

"I am deeply saddened by the reports about one of the attorneys in the Workers Compensation Division of the Attorney General's Office allegedly being involved in a shooting incident in Charleston earlier today," Morrisey said in a released statement.

"We are relieved that no one in his family or neighborhood was injured and that all members of the law enforcement community are safe," Morrisey continued.

In 2000, Bramble suffered the loss of his 2-and-a-half year old son, who was at that time in the custody of Bramble's wife and her boyfriend.

After his son's death, Bramble asserted his wife's boyfriend James Montgomery II killed his son by violently shaking him. Montgomery, documents with the Lawyer Disciplinary Board state, said the baby fell off the bed.

Bramble was going through divorce proceedings and was an interested party in a civil abuse and neglect matter involving his daughter.

Documents state Bramble's attorney would go to South Central Regional Jail to depose Montgomery, who was incarcerated on unrelated charges.

Bramble later called Waitman Lee Frederick at South Central Jail, telling him his son's death was ruled a homicide and Bramble wanted to see if his wife was still contacting Montgomery.

Bramble said Frederick checked several phone numbers during that phone conference.

Later, Bramble came with his attorney to the jail and while his attorney deposed Montgomery, Bramble met with Frederick. Bramble was permitted to access Montgomery's phone calls, the documents state. Yet, when he came to the jail the next day, another employee denied him access.

After listening to the phone calls, documents continue, Bramble called Georgia investigators who suspected Montgomery in a homicide in that state. Documents state Bramble gave statements that caused concern whether the investigation was compromised. Investigators then contacted West Virginia officials.

The Kanawha County prosecutor's office and they moved for an order prohibiting Bramble and his attorney from revealing the existence, number and content of phone conversations or who Montgomery talked to while he was in jail.

Frederick, documents state, said he gave Bramble access to phone recordings because he understood Bramble's firm represented Montgomery. Bramble said he never told Frederick that he was Montgomery's attorney.

Bramble was admonished in March 2000 of a complaint filed against him, when a Lawyer Disciplinary Board's investigative panel found probable cause did exist but formal discipline was not appropriate under the circumstances.

The panel found that insufficient evidence existed to rule that Bramble deliberately misrepresented himself at the jail. The March 2000 ruling concluded that jail personnel were acting on a misunderstanding but Bramble should have corrected them.

"It is noted, however, that respondent was despondent over his infant son's death at the time. Moreover, he has never had a previous ethics complaint filed against him."

Montgomery is currently serving time in Georgia for an unrelated charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Police recently said the child's death is considered an open investigation.