January 25, 2013|
By Lawrence Smith
CLAY - A former candidate for state attorney general and Clay County attorney's trial on firearms-related charges has been put on hiatus until spring.
Judge Richard A. Facemire on Jan. 11 granted a motion by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office to continue Hiram C. Lewis IV's trial until the March term of court.
In its motion, the Prosecutor's Office cited the need to move the trial, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 15, due to Lewis' competency evaluations not being complete and the inability of the court to hear his related pre-trial motions.
In addition to moving the trial date back, Facemire also transferred it to Judge Jack Alsop.
In November, the grand jury charged Lewis, 41, with one count each of malicious wounding, domestic assault and wanton endangerment involving a firearm.
The indictment stemmed from an altercation Lewis had with Stephen Bogart in June at a camp Lewis owns and now resides on Elkhurst Road in Procious.
At his preliminary hearing, Lewis testified he ordered Bogart, a transient he met and invited to work at the camp earlier that month, out of the house when, at the request of a neighbor, he refused to lower the volume on a stereo he was playing.
After he convinced him to leave the house, Lewis said he shot Bogart in self-defense when he kicked open a door and charged at him.
Along with the charges in circuit court, Lewis faces a charge of intimidation of a public officer in Clay Magistrate Court. According to the criminal complaint, Lewis allegedly asked Sheriff Randy Holcomb to ask the Prosecutor's Office drop the felony charges.
The reason, Lewis reportedly said, was that he "might have to sue over the arrest," which would include Holcomb as a co-defendant.
In 2004, Lewis, the Republican nominee for attorney general, lost to incumbent Darrell McGraw by 6,000 votes. Four years later, he made another attempt to be GOP nominee, but lost to Charleston attorney Dan Greear.
In 2006, Lewis ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to challenge then-Sen. Robert C. Byrd. However, he lost to Morgantown businessman John Raese.