Suspended Mingo County judge pleads guilty to conspiracy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A suspended Mingo County judge has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in Charleston.

Hours earlier, Thornsbury submitted a resignation letter. His attorney, Stephen Jory, also said the judge consented to disbarment in a letter to the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston scheduled sentencing for Jan. 13. Thornsbury faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Thornsbury was 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.

In exchange, prosecutors said they would dismiss charges in a separate case in which Thornsbury's accused of framing his former secretary's husband.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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