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Prosecutors want lawyer's lowered bail raised

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County prosecutors asked a judge Friday to overturn a magistrate's decision to lower the bail on a lawyer accused of shooting at police earlier this month.

Mark Bramble, 49, allegedly fired dozens of shots from different guns and shot randomly inside and outside his house in the Sherwood Forest subdivision and at police during a standoff that lasted almost three hours on Aug. 12.

Bramble was charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment after being released from a local hospital a few days later.

Kanawha County Magistrate Mike Sisson initially set Bramble's bail at $200,000 cash but, on Thursday, Magistrate Jack Pauley reduced that to $25,000. Bramble remained in the South Central Regional Jail on Friday.

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants said Friday that the bail set by Pauley is too low, noting that Bramble reportedly fired "over 40 to 50 times, with a high probability of hitting police, children and other family members" during the standoff.

"It's a risk that I'm not going to take if he gets out of jail," Plants said Friday. "I'm doing everything in my power to keep him behind bars."

Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach filed the motion in Kanawha County Circuit Court to have the bail amount reconsidered. In the motion, Giggenbach said Bramble pointed a rifle at his wife before she was able to escape from the couple's home on the day of the standoff and said there were three children in the house across the street when he opened fire.

In the motion, Giggenbach said Bramble fired 48 rounds from several guns. Police said weapons found at the scene included a .30-30 Winchester lever-action rifle, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, a .30-caliber M1 carbine, a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun and a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic pistol.

Bramble's wife told police that he had been agitated for several days before the standoff and was hallucinating before he started shooting on Aug. 12. Police said the standoff ended when Bramble shot himself in the head.

Bramble's attorney has said his client is suffering from mental-health issues and should be at a mental-health institution, instead of in a jail.

The case had not been assigned to a circuit judge as of Friday afternoon.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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