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One arrested after stabbing at storage unit

One man is in custody and another in the hospital after an alleged attempted murder at the 24/7 storage units off of Smithtown Road on Sunday.

The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department was initially dispatched to the storage unit for a report of a suspicious person.  According to a criminal complaint, the caller, later identified as Richard Howard Clemons, 47, was described by dispatchers as an “irate male” who called 911 saying someone was in the storage units unlawfully and locks were missing from unit doors.

While Deputy Ethan Mongold was en route to the storage unit, Clemons called back and stated “that he had stabbed a person.”

Once on scene, Mongold determined Clemons was staying in one of the storage units and thought another male had walked by.  Clemons then began walking around the facility to search when he heard a noise made by a man who had been in another unit for hours prior to the incident.

According to the victim’s statement to Mongold, Clemons opened the victim’s storage unit door “with a knife in his hand.”  Clemons stated, “I’ll kill you,” then tackled the victim into the corner of the unit and proceeded to stab him multiple times in the head and chest.

The victim, identified as Albert Nyambati Ondieki, 32, of Morgantown, was transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial hospital with five stab wounds to the head and chest area, a Monday press release said.  Ondieki’s current condition is unknown at this time.

Mongold’s on-scene investigation concluded that Clemons initiated the encounter with the victim and escalated the situation to the point of stabbing the man while making death threats.

“The victim was in his own storage unit, which Mr. Clemons unlawfully entered, then tackled the victim to the ground and began stabbing,” Mongold wrote in the complaint.  “Based on the facts and circumstances of the investigation, Mr. Clemons had the means and intent to kill the victim and acted to carry out the intent.”

Both Clemons and Ondieki rent storage units at the facility and both men were allegedly staying in their respective units for that evening.

Clemons was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder.  He pleaded not guilty to the charge at an arraignment hearing in Monongalia County Circuit Court.

He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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