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Drug Charges Dropped Against George White

Reported: Feb. 24, 2014 6:11 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 25, 2014 9:36 AM EST
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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - It didn't take Senior Judge John Cummings long to make George White a free man.

The judge told White it was obvious he didn't get a fair trial from the beginning and dismissed the drug charges against him with prejudice, meaning they can't be filed again.

"We had hoped all along that's what he would do," Butch West, White's attorney said.
"And I just think it points up that this is a well-reasoned decision by a well-known and qualified judge. And he, I think made it pretty clear that our system works."

Cummings, who has been handling Mingo County cases for several months, said he would normally just sign a dismissal of charges. However, because of public interest he said he wanted to case to be as transparent as possible. Cummings had already thrown out White's guilty plea on drug charges because of tampering by former Mingo County judge Michael Thornsbury and prosecutor Michael Sparks.

They've admitted in federal court to denying White his constitutional right to choose his own attorney.

"There was just so much that has went on and slowly but surely we've went through and documented everything," David Barney, White's Attorney said.

The special prosecutor said it was clear there was no way to move forward with criminal proceedings against White because of missing evidence and other crucial gaps in the case.

"Clearly looking at the evidence in this case and that's what we've got to prosecute this case on is the evidence," Keith Randolph, the special prosecutor said. "And we did a search of the file, looked at all the facts, what evidence was still available and we made the determination that it wasn't sufficient for us to move forward at the trial stage."

Although he's no longer facing an indictment, White still has business with the court.

His lawyers want him to get back $10,000 he forfeited as part of his previous plea deal, $2,000 in fines and access to his personal computer and business equipment which was seized.

Judge Cummings told White's lawyers to file a motion and he'll take a look at the request.



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