NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV (WOWK)—A woman has been charged in connection to a deadly shootout in Nicholas County on Friday, June 3.
According to a criminal complaint, Melanie Clodfelter is charged with providing a firearm to a felon after admitting to buying a gun for Richie Holcomb.
Holcomb’s criminal history dates back to 2005. He faced multiple drug-related misdemeanors as well as charges of possession, domestic battery, sexual assault and grand larceny.
He was convicted of felony unlawful/malicious wounding in Webster County in 2013, which prohibited him from possessing a firearm.
Holcomb was killed in a shootout that also killed a Nicholas County deputy.
An updated criminal complaint details that deadly evening:
According to the complaint, Nicholas County deputies received a call in reference to destruction of property on Holcomb St. in the Birch River area. They traced the suspect, Richie Holcomb to a RV owned by Brent Kelly on the 400 block of Fire House Road in Birch River. They were advised that Holcomb could be armed.
Deputies say they spoke with Holcomb and Kelly from outside of the camper because the two men refused to exit the camper. They say that during the conversation, Holcomb became “extremely belligerent.”
After Holcomb made a quick movement toward the rear of the camper, deputies tased him, but it had little effect. The deputies then entered the camper to attempt to subdue Holcomb, and they say he picked up an AR-15-style rifle and began firing at the deputies.
The complaint says that one deputy returned fire inside the camper, and both deputies were able to exit the camper and flee to cover. Deputy Ellison was shot in the leg, and Deputy Baker was shot in the back. Other deputies on the scene could not immediately rescue Deputy Baker once the gunfire stopped because he was out in the open without cover.
The complaint then details a second round of gunfire by deputies because they saw movement inside the camper. At that time, deputies and State Police were able to move Deputy Baker to cover. They were unable to save his life.
At this point, the other suspect, Brent Kelly, told deputies that he wanted to surrender. The criminal complaint states that he resisted and then became combative, and law enforcement had to take him to the ground until he was restrained.
Deputies found Holcomb dead in the camper.
The complaint says that Kelly was aware that Holcomb was a felon in possession of a firearm and that he intentionally obstructed the deputies’ view of Holcomb as he moved around the inside of the RV. It says that Kelly failed to warn officers about the firearm or imminent threat.
Kelly was charged with first-degree murder on Monday. His preliminary hearing on Thursday was pushed back to give his defense more time to prepare.