Deputy: Man killed after domestic attack had previous charge

November 23, 2021 GMT

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — The man who killed one woman and injured another before being fatally shot by police during a standoff in southern West Virginia had pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge the day before the attack, authorities said.

Christopher Wade, 45, killed Debbie James, 61, of Princeton, and assaulted his ex-girlfriend, Crystal Wade, on Friday at a residence in Montcalm, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Alan Christian told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Wade had been arrested for domestic battery at the residence and had entered a plea Thursday in which he was given a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered to have no contact with the victim, Christian said.

A criminal complaint filed in the case says Crystal Wade told deputies Christopher Wade punched her in the chest and choked her during an argument.


Despite the order, Crystal Wade told deputies that Christopher Wade attacked her and James and then he fled, Christian said. Deputies found him hiding in a nearby garage.

“The Sheriff’s Department and State Police had a 30-minute standoff with the suspect during which time he was encouraged to surrender. He failed to do so,” Christian said. “He took an action that endangered the lives of the officers on scene at which time they discharged their weapons.”

State police are investigating the officer-involved shooting while the sheriff’s department is investigating James’ death.