Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 12, 2013

Feds indict West Virginia felon for having firearm

BLUEFIELD — A West Virginia inmate has been indicted by the federal government on charges stemming from a Mercer County incident during which a Virginia State trooper was shot.

Steven Dale Branscome, 37, currently incarcerated at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, was indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, said Brian P. McGinn, public affairs specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Virginia. The indictment stems from a March 2008 incident during which Virginia State Trooper R.W. Hughes was shot by Branscome just inside West Virginia near the Giles County, Va., line.

Hughes was shot in the neck while pursuing Branscome on foot following a short vehicle pursuit near the Giles County community of Glen Lyn, according to Daily Telegraph file reports. Hughes was treated and released that same day at Giles Memorial Hospital in Pearisburg, Va.

Branscome fled after the shooting, sparking a nationwide manhunt. He was apprehended 10 days later, in early April 2008, at a New Boston, Texas, hotel.

Branscome was extradited back to Mercer County and was initially charged with malicious wounding of a police officer, wanton endangerment, grand larceny and burglary. He was later indicted on a charge of malicious assault.

The indictment handed down Feb. 28 in United States District Court, Roanoke Division, alleges Branscome “did knowingly possess a firearm ... after he had previously been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment.”

The court also filed a notice of forfeiture, seeking any firearms and ammunition used in the commission of the offense, upon conviction. Specifically, the court is seeking a Beretta .25 caliber pistol and approximately 21 rounds of miscellaneous ammunition.

Branscome is currently incarcerated at Mt. Olive on the initial malicious wounding charge, but will be eligible for parole this year.

— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com

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