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Woman charged with buying rifle for felon killed in shootout

June 9, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman has been charged with providing a firearm to a felon in connection with the shooting death last week of a Nicholas County sheriff’s deputy and wounding of another.

Melanie Clodfelter, 41, of Summersville, was accused of buying a rifle on Nov. 17 for Richie Holcomb, who was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a felony conviction in 2014, U.S. Attorney Will Thompson’s office said in a news release.

A criminal complaint alleges that Clodfelter was aware that Holcomb was unable to buy the gun himself, the release said.

Deputy Thomas Edward Baker III was killed and Cpl. Joshua Ellison was wounded after responding to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area on June 3. Holcomb, 36, was also fatally shot.

Clodfelter made an initial appearance on Tuesday and remains in custody. A preliminary hearing is set for next Tuesday. Her attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.