Local attorney’s shooting charges dismissed
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A local attorney was suffering from delirium brought on by an over-the-counter sleep aid when he shot up his South Hills area home last summer and is “not criminally responsible” for his actions, a Kanawha Circuit judge ruled.
Judge Carrie Webster issued an order Tuesday dismissing charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment against Mark Bramble, who was arrested in August after Charleston police found him shooting inside his Sherwood Forest home. The charges were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be brought again.
Bramble’s attorney, Trent Redman, filed a motion to dismiss based on the opinions of physicians who assessed Bramble. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph, who served as special prosecutor, did not object to Redman’s motion.
Kanawha Prosecutor Mark Plants stepped down from the case because he is Bramble’s neighbor and was home at the time with his children at the time of the incident.
Three forensic psychiatrists all reached the same conclusion on Bramble’s state of mind, Webster wrote in a email to the Daily Mail.
“Following an exhaustive review of available records and several interviews with Mr. Bramble, Dr. Clayman concluded that Mr. Bramble was not criminally responsible for his conduct on the day the alleged offense occurred,” she wrote. “Mr. Bramble was also evaluated by Dr. Bobby Miller and Dr. (Delaney) Smith, who reached the same/similar conclusion regarding Mr. Bramble’s state of mind on the date of the offense following their own evaluations.”
Smith concluded in her forensic report that Bramble suffered “anticholinergic delirium” resulting in the inability to recognize reality. The delirium was caused by Bramble’s use of Unisom, an over-the-counter sleep aid, and exacerbated by his multiple sclerosis, Smith said.
Dr. Bobby Miller II also found Bramble was not criminally responsible, and Dr. David Clayman also concluded Unisom was the cause of the delirium.
“On the day of the instant offense he lacked the capacity to conform his behavior in accordance with the law,” Clayman wrote. “The mental defect adversely impacted his capacity to consider the wrongfulness of his behavior as it is fairly well substantiated that he was unable to deal with the meaning of his behavior in a realistic manner.”
Police were called to Bramble’s Cornwall Lane home on Aug. 12 after his wife reported he was armed, hallucinating and firing shots. Bramble had submitted his resignation to the state Attorney General’s Office only a week before.
Bramble’s wife got out of the house unscathed but Bramble still was firing weapons inside when police arrived. Some shots were exiting the home through windows and nearly struck officers.
The bomb squad also responded and sent its robot into the home. The robot located Bramble injured but moving on the floor in the back room. He was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital and was transferred to South Central Regional Jail upon his release.
The order notes he was compliant with jail staff and received no rule violations while he was there.
He also was compliant with staff at Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington where he was twice ordered. Physicians and staff at the Huntington hospital reported that Bramble was not a danger to himself or others when he was released. He was ordered upon his release from Bateman to attend counseling sessions at Prestera Center, which he attended regularly.
Bramble was placed on home confinement upon his release from Bateman. Webster wrote that Bramble obeyed the court’s stipulations while on home confinement and on the two trips he made to North Carolina, first for the death of his father and second to help his mother settle his father’s estate.
Though he has not been deemed a threat to himself or others, he still must surrender any and all firearms as per state law, which requires those found mentally defective to surrender any firearms in their possession.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.