Hearings set for ex-Mingo prosecutor, magistrate

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Two former Mingo County officials charged in a corruption probe will be in court soon to enter pleas.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston set a Nov. 18 hearing Tuesday for former prosecutor Michael Sparks.

The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/1gYymhQ) reports he also set a Dec. 2 hearing for former Magistrate Dallas Toler.

Sparks is accused in a scheme to protect Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations he'd bought drugs.

Prosecutors allege Sparks, former county Commissioner David Baisden and former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury offered a lighter sentence if the dealer fired his lawyer and hired one they preferred. Crum died in April in an unrelated shooting. The dealer is in prison on drug charges. Toler is charged in a separate case with illegally registering a felon to vote in the 2012 primary.

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