Woman charged in murder of former Powhatan mayor
WHEELING — A Powhatan Point woman is in police custody, accused of using money drawn from her stepfather’s bank accounts to pay another man to shoot him to death.
Meredith Ellen Broome, aka Meredith McLeod, is being held at the Northern Regional Jail at Moundsville on a fugitive from justice charge.
She was arrested Monday in West Virginia after a warrant was issued in Belmont County directing any law enforcement officer to arrest Broome “as an accomplice to murder” in connection with the death of former Powhatan Point Mayor Marvin Brown.
Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said late Wednesday that the charge Broome will face in Ohio is complicity to murder.
He said the investigation of the case has been ongoing since the day Brown was murdered in 2013, but additional information came to light within the past week.
“We believe there are multiple people involved,” Fry said, adding that only Broome has been charged so far.
Broome is scheduled to appear in Ohio County Circuit Court this morning for an extradition hearing in this case. Fry said that hearing will determine if the person in custody is the same person who is charged and whether she will waive her right to extradition proceedings. He noted that his office intends to pursue extradition through West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s office if necessary.
Fry said Broome is a “piece in the puzzle” and that he expects more of those pieces to be revealed in the future.
Brown, who was fatally shot in the back on Nov. 18, 2013, served as mayor of Powhatan Point from 1984-85. According to the criminal complaint filed against her in Ohio County, Broome, 35, was Brown’s stepdaughter and allegedly served as the instigator and facilitator of a financial transaction that resulted in an accomplice receiving cash for the murder of the victim.
The alleged accomplice in this case, who is not identified in court documents, reportedly revealed this information to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department on Monday. In addition, those documents state the unidentified accomplice “implicated himself as the shooter” and revealed knowledge that was only available to those who were at the crime scene. The report states the accomplice described a gun Broome gave to him to use in the murder, and it appears to be the same make and model as a gun previously owned by Marvin Brown that has never been located.
Fry said he anticipates that the unnamed accomplice also will eventually face charges in the case.
“Law enforcement had recovered an empty box for a Highpoint 9-mm handgun but has never located the weapon. The (accomplice) describes cash payments totaling $12,000 made to him by Broome through her mother,” the complaint states.
Broome’s mother Deborah Doty Brown, the widow of the former mayor, was sentenced to serve one to three years in prison for theft and tampering with evidence in this case in May 2015.
Deborah Brown had access to accounts owned by the murder victim and/or his business, according to the complaint. Officers said cash withdrawals were made by Deborah Brown around the time of the murder from those accounts. Officers reviewed related bank statements after the murder, according to the reports.
Officers reported that Broome’s mother presented forged bank statements to the Belmont County Probate Court after the time of the victim’s death. Marvin Brown, in addition to being the Powhatan Point mayor for a time, owned and operated Powhatan Construction Co. and was a subcontractor for other local businesses.
The former Powhatan mayor had three sons, Michael, Thomas and Christopher Brown.