McComas providing support for Mingo officials
HUNTINGTON -- Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas traveled to Williamson on Thursday for a second, consecutive afternoon.
As president of the state Sheriffs' Association, McComas is serving an advisory role helping Mingo County's commissioners make funeral arrangements and maintain operations of its Sheriff's Office after Wednesday's shooting death of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.
Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, has been charged in the sheriff's death, according to The Associated Press. A check of criminal records in Mingo and its surrounding West Virginia counties found no indication of Maynard having a prior arrest.
McComas has assigned two lower-ranking deputies to assist their grieving counterparts. He said the Cabell County deputies are serving an investigative role related to Crum's death. They are joined by two deputies from Kanawha County.
The West Virginia State Police has provided additional patrol assets to Mingo County. Its troopers also are leading an investigation into the deputy-involved shooting that injured Maynard.
McComas, who called Crum's death a heinous act, acknowledged it is the type of event that causes him and others to consider their personal safety.
"You always try to be cautious," he said. "I would be untruthful if I didn't say this had heightened my awareness of my surroundings, but that's to be expected as it is any time a law enforcement officer is murdered."
In Huntington, McComas said the State Police are maintaining Maynard's custody and supervision at Cabell Huntington Hospital, where Maynard is receiving treatment for his wounds. Cabell County deputies stand at the ready to assist if scheduling conflicts arise, and McComas said the Huntington Police Department is aware of Maynard's presence if a situation should occur.
Officials anticipate Maynard will survive his injuries, said State Police 1st Sgt. Michael Baylous.