NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — The man who pulled the trigger fatally shooting a corporal with the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department also killed himself, according to courtroom testimony Monday in Summersville.
West Virginia State Police First Sgt. James Mitchell took the stand in the preliminary hearing in the case against Brent Kelly.
Kelly, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the case of the fallen Corporal Tom Baker.
First Sgt. Mitchell told the court that the other suspect in the case, Richie Holcomb, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound from an AR-15. The nature of the death was confirmed through the state medical examiner’s office. Testimony has also revealed that it was bullets from that AR-15 that also killed Cpl. Baker.
First Sgt. Mitchell testified the evidence revealed Kelly had gunshot residue on his hands, face, and forehead. He could not say whether or not Kelly fired a shot during the standoff that happened in the Birch River area of Nicholas County.
Monday morning, a magistrate ruled there was enough evidence in the case for it to proceed. It will now go to the grand jury. Kelly’s attorney Robert McCoid did at one point did ask for the charges in the case to be dismissed on the grounds that there is no evidence that Kelly had a gun, discharged the gun, intended for the result of the incident, or that he aided and abetted Holcomb in the shooting.
Deputies originally came to the camper and property on Friday, June 3 for a call about a disturbance related to Holcomb. Holcomb also had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.
Holcomb, according to testimony, had been evicted from the camper property, and power there had been cut off.
Holcomb was originally tased by other deputies, and he then returned gunfire, hitting another deputy. Corporal Josh Ellison survived the shooting.
Cpl. Baker, who did not go into the camper, was hit several times as he was trying to run for cover investigators say.