Former Mingo Judge Michael Thornsbury due in court for plea hear - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Former Mingo Judge Michael Thornsbury due in court for plea hearing today

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -

A suspended Mingo County judge is due in court for a plea hearing on a federal conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury is expected to plead guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Thornsbury is accused of participating in a scheme to protect the reputation of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations he'd bought drugs from a campaign sign-maker.

Prosecutors allege Thornsbury and others offered a lighter sentence if the man fired his lawyer and hired one they preferred.

Crum died in April.

In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors say they would dismiss charges against Thornsbury in a separate federal case. Prosecutors say Thornsbury repeatedly tried to frame his secretary's husband for false crimes to eliminate him as a romantic rival.

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