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Former West Virginia judge appeals 50-month sentence

CHARLESTON (AP) — A former Mingo County judge who pleaded guilty to a corruption charge is appealing his 50-month prison sentence.

The Williamson Daily News reports that Michael Thornsbury’s attorney has filed a notice of appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive campaign sign maker George White of his constitutional rights. Prosecutors said Thornsbury participated in a scheme to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from accusations that the sheriff bought prescription painkillers from White.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston earlier this month agreed with prosecutors who argued that Thornsbury deserved more prison time than the 30 to 37 months suggested by federal sentencing guidelines. Johnston said Thornsbury’s abuse of power was akin to that of “a third-world dictator.”

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