EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSources Say Mingo Circuit Judge Thornsbury Expected To Plead Guilty
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Sep. 18, 2013 11:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 18, 2013 6:28 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Although he officially said he is not guilty of charges alleging he targeted a romantic rival and used his power to try and put that man in jail, Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornbsury is ready to say he did it, sources tell Eyewitness News.
A federal indictment alleges Thornsbury violated the civil rights of his secretary's husband. Thornsbury allegedly had an affair with the woman, then when she broke off the relationship he then allegedly schemed in a number of ways with various other people to put her husband behind bars.
The indictment includes allegations that Thornsbury manipulated a grand jury by putting a friend in charge of the proceedings, that he tried to plant drugs on his romantic rival and that he persuaded prosecutors to wrongfully charge him with assault when the investigation showed that that man was actually a victim.
Eyewitness News has learned that Thornsbury has agreed to plead guilty to avoid additional federal charges in an unrelated matter that could have resulted in more jail time if he was convicted.
Although plans are still being finalized, Thornsbury's guilty plea is imminent and could come as early as Thursday, sources said.
Thornsbury had been scheduled to go to trial on the original charges on Oct. 15. He was facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
In a move related to the case, the attorney for the couple allegedly harassed for years by thornsbury has temporarily delayed plans to file civil lawsuits.
Last month, Michael Callaghan notified the state Supreme Court, the county commission, state police and the city of Gilbert that he intended to sue.
But now he said insurance company attorneys want to talk about a potential settlement, so he is holding off on further action until those discussions can take place.
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