PROCIOUS, W.Va. -- A former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and West Virginia attorney general has been arrested and charged with trying to intimidate a witness.
Hiram Carson Lewis IV, 41, was arrested over the weekend on a warrant alleging he had threatened Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb. Holcomb is a witness against Lewis in a previous case alleging Lewis shot and wounded a man at Lewis' home in Procious.
Lewis, a lawyer and an Iraq War veteran, ran unsuccessfully for the office of attorney general in 2004 and ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 Republican primary to challenge U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. He again ran for attorney general in 2008, but was edged out in the Republican primary by Dan Greear.
According to a criminal complaint on file in Clay County Magistrate Court, Lewis went to Holcomb's camp in Procious on Oct. 28 and asked the sheriff to go to the Clay County prosecutor's office to help drop charges of malicious wounding and wanton endangerment filed against Lewis in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Lewis told the sheriff on Oct. 28 that he might have to sue over the criminal charges, and allegedly threatened to sue Holcomb as well.
Lewis then allegedly told Holcomb that the sheriff and State Police Trooper B.E. Young were the only witnesses left to testify against him in the June criminal case. A third witness, former State Police Cpl. M.L. Bailey, was shot and killed by a suspect in Wallback in August.
Lewis, who runs a Christian-based organization called Elk River Ministries, allegedly told Holcomb that Bailey had been shot "because of spiritual wrongdoing done to him," according to the criminal complaint.
Lewis said Monday in a phone interview that he wasn't trying to intimidate Holcomb. He said he went to the camp to ask the sheriff if he would put in a good word for him with the county prosecutor.