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Nicholas County woman indicted after buying gun for man involved in June shooting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal grand jury indicted a Nicholas County woman on Wednesday for her actions preceding a June 3 fatal shooting.

Authorities arrested 41-year-old Melaine Clodfelter of Summersville following the shooting in the Birch River area, in which a Nicholas County sheriff’s deputy died and a second deputy was injured. A third person also died in the altercation.

According to the indictment, Clodfelter had bought a Radical Firearms model RF-15 rifle for Richie Holcomb in November 2021. Holcomb could not possess a firearm because of a July 2014 felony conviction for unlawful wounding in Webster County.

Holcomb, 36, was involved in the June 3 altercation, which began after Deputy Tom Baker died and Cpl. Joshua Ellison responded to the area following a domestic disturbance call. Baker died in the exchange of gunfire, and Ellison was wounded. Holcomb also died in the incident.

The federal grand jury indicted Clodfelter with knowingly making a false and fictitious oral and written statement by certifying that she was the transferee of a firearm, unlawfully selling or disposing of a firearm to a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm by someone who is an unlawful user of and addicted to methamphetamine and marijuana.

Clodfelter faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwayne Tinsley previously ordered Clodfelter to complete a drug treatment program.

Another person, 28-year-old Brent Tyler Kelly, has been charged with murder for his direct involvement in the shooting.

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