Man at center of Montcalm murder, officer-involved shooting pleaded guilty to domestic-related charge day before violent incident

MONTCALM, W.Va. — The man who attacked his former girlfriend and killed the woman’s friend in Mercer County Friday was released from custody after pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge the day before.

Mercer County Chief Deputy Sheriff Alan Christian told MetroNews Monday that Christopher Wade, 45, was charged after a domestic violence incident at the residence on Methodist Hill in Montcalm on Nov. 3. He pleaded guilty Thursday and returned to the residence Friday afternoon.

Christian said that’s when Wade attacked his former girlfriend Crystal Wade, same last name but no relation, with a two-pound hammer and killed Debbie James, 61, of Princeton, who had come to stay with Crystal Wade at the residence because Crystal was scared of Christopher Wade.

“She just happened to be at the wrong place, just an innocent bystander,” Christian said.

Christopher Wade then fled into Montcalm where he was found by police in a one-car garage. Christian said Wade was armed and refused to drop his gun.

“The confrontation with him lasted about a half hour. It was a half-hour of trying to get him to surrender and turn himself in, to come in peacefully, but he made a movement that put our deputies’ lives in danger and they were forced to discharge their firearms along with state police troopers,” Christian said.

Wade was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was Mercer County deputies who made the arrest of Christopher Wade at the residence on Nov. 3, Christian said.

“He never made any statement that ‘when I get out I’m going to kill her’ or anything like that. He just came in and plead guilty because he couldn’t make bond I’m assuming and couldn’t get out of jail and that’s what he did,” Christian said.

Crystal Wade was hospitalized for the injuries she suffered.

State police are investigating the officer-involved shooting.

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