Criminal Justice

Lawyer in West Virginia AG's office shoots and wounds himself after standoff with police

A lawyer in West Virginia Attorney General’s Office shot and wounded himself after a three-hour standoff with Charleston police at his home on Monday.

The lawyer, 49-year-old Mark Bramble, worked in the workers’ compensation division for the past year and had submitted his resignation last week, report the Charleston Gazette, the Associated Press and the State Journal. Bramble had surgery on Monday and is expected to live, Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster said at a news conference.

Police were called to Bramble’s home after his wife called police and said he was shooting guns, the stories say. He fired at police, and police returned fire. “It looks like some, if not all, of his injuries are self-inflicted,” Webster said. Bramble’s wife was able to leave the home. Police entered after they sent a robot inside that revealed Bramble was wounded and lying on the floor.

Bramble’s wife had told police that her husband was upset since the day before and had made comments that someone was coming to get him. Neighbors said Bramble might have been upset by news that his ex-wife’s former boyfriend, James Robert Montgomery Jr., was being released from prison, but a police detective told the Charleston Gazette that police believe the man is still incarcerated.

The ex-wife and Montgomery had custody of Bramble’s 18-month-old son when the boy died in 2000, the State Journal says. Police investigated the matter as a possible shaken baby incident. Montgomery was arrested the same year in connection with a bank robbery, and later went to prison on an unrelated Georgia charge of voluntary manslaughter, according to the State Journal. Bramble was admonished for posing as Montgomery’s defense lawyer in an attempt to gain custody of his daughter, who was 4 at the time, the Gazette says. Bramble wanted to know whether his ex-wife was still in contact with the inmate, according to AP.

Prosecutors said at the time that Bramble’s conduct may have compromised the investigation into the boy’s death.

Updated at 9:25 a.m. to clear up confusing ex-boyfriend references noted by commenter.

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