MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Loughry convicted on 11 charges

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry and his attorney, John Carr, exit the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse Friday afternoon after hearing the verdict in a nine-day trial. (WCHS/WVAH)

UPDATE, 4 p.m.

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry has been convicted on 11 of 22 charges.

The verdict came Friday afternoon on the ninth day of the trial in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Loughry faced 22 federal charges - two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and two counts of false statements. Loughry was found guilty on seven wire fraud charges, one mail fraud charge, one witness tampering charge and two false statement charges. He was found not guilty on nine wire fraud charges and one mail fraud charge. There was a hung jury on one wire fraud charge.

Loughry’s defense team has 14 days to file a motion for a new trial. Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16, 2019.

The government has asked for home confinement. The judge said no; he doesn’t believe he is a flight risk and will remain on secured bond.

Following is a breakdown of the verdict:

* Count One, wire fraud (false and fraudulent mileage claim) – Not guilty

* Count Two, mail fraud (false and fraudulent mileage claim) – Not guilty

* Count Three, mail fraud (false and fraudulent mileage claim) Guilty

* Count Four, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count Five, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count Six, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count Seven, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count Eight, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Hung jury

* Count Nine, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count 10, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count 11, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count 12, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count 13, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count 14, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count 15, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count 16, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count 17, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Not guilty

* Count 18, wire fraud (personal use of Supreme Court vehicles and government fuel cards) Guilty

* Count 20, witness tampering (regarding trying to influence the testimony of Kim Ellis) Guilty

* Count 21, wire fraud (Cass Gilbert Desk) Not guilty

* Count 23, false statement to FBI (in relation to using a Supreme Court vehicle) Guilty

* Count 25, false statement To FBI (in relation to Cass Gilbert desk) Guilty

Following the verdict, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart held a news conference, applauding the jury, judge, attorneys and everyone involved in what he called a "difficult and emotional case."

“This is not a great day for West Virginia. This is not a sad day for West Virginia, but one thing we know, the system worked the way the system was supposed to work,” Stuart said.

Stuart commented on the idea of public corruption, something he said his office has made a priority from the beginning.

“We said early on that the idea of public corruption was one of the top priorities of this U.S. attorney and the Department of Justice and we said at that time there’s no such thing as a little bit of public corruption,” Stuart said. “We meant that seriously, and we’re going to continue to pursue public corruption.”

Stuart applauded the jury and attorneys, saying he could not be prouder of anyone’s efforts.

“We found a jury which found Justice Loughry guilty on witness tampering, for lying to a federal agent - very, very serious charges. All of these are very serious charges,” Stuart said.

Stuart said he is particularly pleased that the jury found Loughry guilty on the witness tampering counts.

“This U.S. attorney views the idea of lying to a federal agent, particularly bad. Witness tampering is egregious. Lying to a federal agent. A lot of folks need to understand, the idea of lying to a federal agent is completely unacceptable. It places lives at risk potentially when you lie to a federal agent. There are only so many federal resources, and it’s important that we get to the truth on all of these matters," Stuart said.

UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.

Jurors deliberating a verdict in the federal court trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry had a question Friday for the judge about what effect it would have on the case if they have a hung jury on a single count.

Jurors were told if they are hung on a single count, it would just affect the single verdict.

Loughry faces 22 federal charges - two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and two counts of false statements

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver mentioned that the jury requested use of a computer and it was getting access to that at 1:15 p.m.

The judge said it is too early in the case to issue an Allen charge, an instruction given when after deliberation, a jury reports that it is deadlocked and unable to decide on a verdict.


UPDATE, 12:20 p.m.

No verdict has been reached yet in the third day of deliberations in the federal court trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.

Jurors began their talks about 9:30 a.m. Friday and had not reached a decision as of 12:20 p.m. They deliberated an hour and half Wednesday and all day Thursday. Jurors are taking a lunch break until 1:15 p.m.

Loughry faces 22 federal charges - two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and two counts of false statements

An interesting note in the case about the Cass Gilbert desk that was at Loughry’s house and then delivered to the state warehouse. During Loughry’s testimony and closing arguments from his attorney, the point was made that Loughry was not in office as a justice when the desk was delivered to his home on Dec. 21, 2012.

Loughry has maintained that he never knew the desk, which was in his office as a law clerk, was a historic Cass Gilbert desk.

Loughry contended how could a lowly law clerk order a desk go anywhere. He suggested that former court administrator Steve Canterbury ordered that the desk be delivered to Loughry’s home.

Despite those assertions, Loughry was sworn in as a Justice Dec. 14, 2012 – a week before the desk was delivered to his home – during a ceremony in court chambers – so he was an acting justice at the time. He did not officially take office until Jan. 1.

During interviews with Eyewitness News, Canterbury, a main source for investigative stories that the Eyewitness News iTeam did on the Supreme Court, never mentioned the Cass Gilbert desk.

The issue did not surface until Eyewitness News asked Loughry about the desk in 2018 and a Supreme Court communications specialist sent Eyewitness News an email at Loughry’s direction saying that the court had a long-standing policy allowing the setup of home offices for the justices. Later, it was determined that no such policy was in place at the time.

ORIGINAL STORY

After several days of deliberations, jurors still have not reached a verdict in the federal court trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.

Jurors returned to the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston about 9:30 a.m. Friday to continue to try to reach a decision.

Deliberations started Wednesday when the jury spent about an hour and half in talks. On Thursday, the jury started in the morning and then broke for the day about 5 p.m.

Loughry faces 22 federal charges - two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering and two counts of false statements

Jurors are deliberating on the ninth day of the trial for Loughry in U.S. District Court.

The indictment accused Loughry of false and fraudulent mileage claims, using Supreme Court vehicles and government-issued fuel cards for personal use and witness tampering for allegedly trying to influence the testimony of an employee and making false statements to the FBI about using Supreme Court vehicles and a Cass Gilbert desk.

In closing arguments, the government contended that after Loughry was elected to the Supreme Court, he gained power and with that power came arrogance and an unbridled sense of entitlement at the court had never seen. An assistant U.S. attorney said Loughry treated public resources as his own.

Meanwhile, the defense countered there is much reasonable doubt in the case, Loughry’s travels were for court business, there were problems with the system that tracked the use of the fuel cards and witnesses had faulty memories.

Loughry has faced a series of legal troubles. He is currently suspended from the bench at the West Virginia Supreme Court and his trial on seven articles of impeachment is scheduled Nov. 12 in the state Senate. He also is accused of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending