Mingo Circuit Judge cooperating with feds

By Kyle Lovern

September 18, 2013

 Rachel Baldwin


CHARLESTON - After declaring to news media that he was “absolutely not guilty” of the crime of violating the civil rights of his former secretary’s husband, the Williamson Daily News has received information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston that Mingo County Judge Michael Thornsbury has made a decision to accept a plea offer and admit his guilt.

The suspended Circuit Judge allegedly had an affair with Kim Woodruff, who was employed as his secretary and then when she broke off the relationship, he became angry and vengeful and allegedly schemed in a number of ways with various other people to put her husband, Robert Woodruff, behind bars to clear the pathway for the relationship to rekindle. 

The indictment includes allegations that Thornsbury manipulated a grand jury by putting Jarrod Fletcher, a friend and business partner who was also the Director of Mingo County Homeland Security and Emergency Services, in charge of the proceedings. He was also charged with trying to have his close friend, Jeff Cline, plant drugs on his romantic rival. He is accused of persuading an assistant prosecutor to wrongfully charge him with assault when the investigation showed that that man was actually a victim. These crimes were said to have spanned over a four-year period, from 2008 until 2012. 

Thornsbury allegedly got West Virginia State Police trooper Brandon Moore involved in the plot. Moore is currently suspended. He was serving at the Williamson detachment at the time of the alleged wrongdoings.

 There is no word yet on the definite amount of time Thornsbury will spend behind bars, but those close to the situation has stated that they have heard it may possibly be 36 months.

Further information on Thornsbury’s plea deal will be released by the WDN as soon as it becomes available.