CHARLESTON, W.Va. —Former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on Monday in connection with a Mingo County corruption scandal.
Thornsbury previously pleaded guilty to violating the constitutional rights of George White, a sign maker from Delbarton.
White was owed money by the late Sheriff Eugene Crum for campaign signs produced during the 2012 election. Instead, Crum had White arrested on trumped-up charges of drug possession. Thornsbury agreed to a plea deal for White so he would stop talking to federal investigators about Crum’s alleged drug problem.
The arrangement fully came to light after Crum was shot to death outside the Mingo County courthouse in April 2013, thoug the shooting is not believed to be related to White’s case.
Thornsbury agreed to work with federal prosecutors to help bring corruption charges against then-Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden, prosecutor Michael Sparks and magistrate Dallas Toller. All three resigned from their positions and accepted plea deals.
As part of that cooperation, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Booth Goodwin wrote a letter to the judge in the case, Thomas Johnston, asking that Thornsbury’s sentence be reduced by 10 months for his willingness to assist in the investigation.
Thornsbury had served as the sole circuit judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit since 1997. He was re-elected to an eight-year term in 2008.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.