CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Jurors deliberated all day Thursday on the 22 counts against West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry but haven’t yet reached a verdict.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, jurors sent a note to U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver, saying they were at a concluding point for the day and would like to be sent home.
During the trial, Copenhaver has been sensitive to the fact that jurors are from communities all over southern West Virginia and that some have drives of an hour or more.
Jurors were instructed to return to the federal courthouse in Charleston at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Lawyers from both the defense and prosecution were advised to be on standby Friday, no more than 10 minutes away from the courthouse.
“Hopefully we’ll get a verdict before the day is out,” Copenhaver told the lawyers.
Jurors began deliberating at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and went until 5 p.m. that day before being sent home.
They started again at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
The jurors were to consider each of the 22 counts individually and were instructed to decide unanimously whether Loughry is guilty or not guilty on each.
The trial has gone on for a week and a half now, with jury selection on Oct. 2.
Loughry, the author of “Don’t Buy Another Vote, I Won’t Pay for Landslide: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia,” is accused of mail fraud, wire fraud, tampering with a witness and lying to federal agents.
Most of the counts alleged that he used a state vehicle and state-issued gasoline card for personal travel. Some of the others are allegations about taking home an antique “Cass Gilbert” desk from the state Capitol.
Federal prosecutors brought more than a dozen witnesses, as well as detailed records on gasoline card purchases, cell tower records and Loughry’s own calendars.
When Loughry and his attorney, John Carr, left the courthouse on Thursday evening, Carr responded to questions from reporters with “no comment,” as usual.
— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) October 11, 2018