Former AG candidate now facing intimidation charge

By Lawrence Smith | Nov 21, 2012

CLAY – Before he goes to trial on felony charges he shot his housemate over the summer, a Clay County attorney and former Attorney General candidate may go to trial on a misdemeanor charge he attempted to intimidate a witness in the case last month.

Hiram C. Lewis IV was arrested on Nov. 16 and charged with one count of intimidation of public officers, jurors and witnesses. The charge stems from Lewis allegedly threatening the county sheriff with a lawsuit if he did not get the prosecutor’s office to dismiss the pending wanton endangerment and malicious wounding charges against him dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, Lewis at a time not specified on Oct. 28, paid a visit to Clay Sheriff Randy Holcomb at his camp on Elk River Road in Procious. During the visit, Lewis asked Holcomb “to go to the Clay County Prosecutor’s office and have them dismiss the criminal charges against him.”

In June, Lewis was arrested for shooting his housemate, Steven Bogart, following an argument the two had at the camp Lewis owns in Procious. Later that month at his preliminary hearing, Lewis testified he shot Bogart, a transient he met a week before the shooting and hired to help do work around the camp, in self-defense after he ordered Bogart out of the house when, at the request of a neighbor, Bogart refused to turn down the volume of a stereo.

After finding enough probable cause, Magistrate Jeffery Boggs bound Lewis’ case over the grand jury, and reduced his bond from $100,000 to $70,000. A few days later, Lewis made bail.

In the course of his meeting with Holcomb last month, the complaint alleges Lewis told him that if the shooting charges were dismissed he “might have to sue over the arrest.” Any suit, he said, might include Holcomb.

Also, Lewis is accused of making a cryptic remark in which he said West Virginia State Trooper B.E. Young, who filed the pending complaint, and Holcomb “were the only two left to testify against him after the slaying of Cpl. M.L. Bailey.” According to Holcomb, Bailey’s death was “believed to be because of the spiritual wrongdoing done to him.”

Two months before Lewis’ visit with Holcomb, Bailey, and his partner, Eric Workman, stopped Luke Baber at the Wallback park-and-ride off Interstate 79 after receiving a call he’d been spotted driving erratically. After they frisked him, Bailey and Workman placed Baber in the back of their cruiser, and waited for a tow truck to haul away Baber’s vehicle.

While they were waiting, Baber pulled out a handgun he managed to keep concealed, and shot Bailey. Shortly thereafter, he took Bailey’s gun and used it to shoot Workman.

After shooting the troopers, Baber fled on foot, and was later killed in a shootout with Roane County sheriff’s deputies. Bailey was killed instantly, and Workman died two days later at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Ten days after his conversation with Holcomb, the Clay grand jury indicted Lewis on not only the wanton endangerment, and malicious wounding charges, but also a charge of domestic assault. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Thursday, Nov. 29 before Judge Richard A. Facemire.

Tentatively, a trial date on the intimidation charge is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 18. Currently, Lewis is free on $5,000 bond.

Clay Magistrate Court, case number 12-M-529

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