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UPDATE: Feds to Probe Evidence Handling in Mingo Case

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 2/26/2014 12:06 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are investigating the handling of evidence in a Mingo County drug case linked to a corruption probe.

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith says a former deputy delivered a box of evidence to the sheriff's department on Monday afternoon.

The delivery came several hours after a circuit court judge dismissed the drug charges against George White of Delbarton.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby says federal prosecutors are investigating.

One of White's attorneys, David Barney, and Boone County prosecutor Keith Randolph say they don't think the evidence would have had an impact on White's case. Randolph served as special prosecutor for the case.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 2/24/2014 1:50 PM

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) - A judge dismissed drug charges against a central figure in a federal corruption investigation in Mingo County.

Circuit Judge John Cummings on Monday granted a special prosecutor's request to dismiss the state charges against George White without prejudice. That means the charges can't be filed again.

Federal prosecutors have said the late Sheriff Eugene Crum had White arrested instead of paying $3,000 he owed for campaign signs made by White. White then went to federal agents and told them he provided Crum with pills.

Former county prosecutor Michael Sparks and former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury have pleaded guilty to federal charges that they kept White from talking to the FBI to protect Crum. Crum was killed in an unrelated shooting last April.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 10/31/2013 10:45 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Delbarton man convicted of selling drugs to a sheriff is seeking his release from prison until a judge hears a petition in his case.

The attorney for George White filed a motion in Mingo County Circuit Court in October. Ronald Rumora asks for White's release from Huttonsville Correctional Center until the yet-unfiled petition is decided. A visiting judge appointed to White's case hasn't ruled on the motion.

Former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury sentenced White in May to up to 15 years in prison.

Thornsbury resigned a month ago and pleaded guilty in a scheme to protect Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations he'd bought drugs from White. Crum was killed in April in an unrelated shooting.

Special prosecutor Keith Randolph says he hasn't reviewed White's case.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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UPDATE 10/17/2013 11:40 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal search warrant has revealed that a West Virginia sheriff was being investigated by the FBI for alleged money laundering in the weeks before his death.

Media outlets report that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was under investigation for arranging to buy campaign signs with cash obtained from a doctor convicted of running a pill mill.

According to the warrant, Dr. Diane Shafer paid hundreds of thousands in cash to George White for making Crum's campaign signs. The search warrant issued to search Crum's phone was unsealed last week.

Shafer pleaded guilty to misusing her Drug Enforcement Administration registration number.

Crum was shot to death last spring as he sat in his police cruiser in downtown Williamson.

The FBI also was investigating whether Crum committed mail fraud.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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UPDATE 10/15/2013 11:50 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The trial of a man accused of killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is rescheduled for March.

Tennis Maynard's trial had been set for Dec. 9. Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Fred Giggenbach says prosecutors believed they needed more time to review evidence and interview witnesses.

The Kanawha County prosecutor's office agreed to represent the state in the trial after former Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks stepped down from the case in September. Sparks resigned last week after he was charged in federal court with conspiracy in an unrelated case.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum on April as the sheriff ate lunch in his car parked in downtown Williamson. The 38-year-old's trial is now set to begin March 3.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Kanawha County prosecutor's office has agreed to represent the state in the trial of a man accused of killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute executive director Philip Morrison said Tuesday the Kanawha County prosecutor's office has the resources to take over the case of Tennis Maynard.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks stepped down from the Maynard case last week.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum twice in the head on April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson. Maynard is scheduled for trial in December.

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


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