CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A suspended West Virginia 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.
Associated Press writer Vicki Smith contributed to this report from Morgantown.