Skip to main content
Press Release

Woman Indicted in Connection with Fatal Nicholas County Shooting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Will Thompson announced today that a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against a Nicholas County woman related to the June 3, 2022, shooting in which one Nicholas County sheriff’s deputy was killed and another was wounded.

Melanie Clodfelter, 41, of Summersville, is charged 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.

The indictment alleges that Clodfelter purchased a Radical Firearms, model RF-15, multi-caliber rifle in Nicholas County on November 17, 2021, and provided it that day to an individual identified in the indictment as “R.H.” A criminal complaint previously filed against Clodfelter identified the individual as Richie Holcomb, who was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a July 30, 2014, felony conviction for unlawful wounding in Webster County Circuit Court.

Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Edward Baker III was killed and Corporal Joshua Ellison was wounded in an exchange of gunfire after responding to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area on June 3, 2022. Holcomb, 36, was fatally shot in the incident.

Thompson commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which assisted the Nicholas County Sheriff's Office and the West Virginia State Police in response to the shooting of the two deputies.

Assistant United States Attorney Alex Hamner is handling the prosecution. Clodfelter faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

 An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-135.






Updated July 6, 2022

Firearms Offenses