Woman admits to buying AR-15 for suspect killed during shootout that killed deputy
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A woman accused of knowingly purchasing a gun for a convicted felon is facing charges Thursday after the same gun she purchased was used during a deadly shootout with deputies, according to the Summersville detachment of West Virginia State Police.
The shootout with law enforcement occurred Friday, June 3 along Fire House Road in Birch River, West Virginia and led to the death of Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker.
According to documents from the United State District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Melanie Clodfelter is accused of purchasing a Radical Firearms, model RF-15 multi-caliber rifle on November 17, 2021 for Richie Holcomb.
Holcomb, 36, was shot and killed on June 3 during a shootout with deputies after himself and Brent Tyler Kelly barricaded themselves inside a camper with a 9mm handgun and an AR-15.
Holcomb was found dead at the rear of the RV in possession of the semi-automatic assault rifle.
While being interviewed by law enforcement, Clodfelter admitted to buying the gun for Holcomb. She told law enforcement she knew of his previous conviction and that he was unable to buy the gun himself.
Clodfelter has been charged with providing a firearm to a felon.
After the deadly shooting, WSAZ learned Holcomb was convicted of a felony in Webster County Circuit Court in 2014.
The conviction stemmed from a felony malicious wounding charge made against him in September 2013.
The sentencing order states Holcomb acted in self-defense but took a plea deal to avoid a heavier penalty if found guilty after a trial.
Holcomb faced felony charges in two separate cases in April 2017, both in Nicholas County.
In one case, he faced a sexual assault charge. In the other case, he faced a grand larceny charge. Both cases were dismissed due to a lack of evidence against Holcomb.
Holcomb’s history spans from 2005 to March of 2022 in misdemeanor cases involving battery and driving-related charges.
The second shooting suspect, Tyler Kelly is now in the Central Regional Jail in Flatwoods on first-degree murder charges.
Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker was laid to rest Wednesday following a memorial service at the Summersville Armory and Convention Center.
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