CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A board of 10 women and two men is now apperception answerability or chastity in the politically-charged case of abeyant West Virginia Supreme Cloister Amends Allen Loughry, who faces 22 federal counts.
U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver beatific the board home for the black about 5 p.m. afterwards it deliberated for about an hour and a half. Jurors will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
The jurors are because anniversary of the 22 counts alone and accept been instructed to adjudge absolutely whether Loughry is accusable or not accusable on each.
“Each of you accusation accede the case for himself or herself,” Copenhaver told jurors. “Your sole absorption is to seek the affirmation in this case.”
Each ancillary in Loughry’s balloon presented closing arguments on Tuesday afternoon, with prosecutors adage Loughry is base and the justice’s aegis adage he’s been misinterpreted by political schemers.
“The closing arguments, although a actual important allotment of this case, are not evidence,” Copenhaver reminded jurors.
Federal prosecutor Greg McVey declared the federal government’s case this morning, starting with Loughry’s acclamation to the accomplished cloister in West Virginia.
“With that ability came an arrogance, came an dizzying faculty of entitlement, the brand of which the cloister had never seen,” McVey said.
He said that “entitled him to bamboozle others as he was buried in the ability of his office.”
McVey, speaking to the board from a belvedere with a microphone, said the amends advance a apocryphal anecdotal of contest on the court, acted as a annoyer to cloister advisers to serve his own interests, tattled to federal board to avert absorption from his own practices and aria to the FBI.
Using slides displayed on a attorneys screen, McVey proceeded from calculation to count, aberrant calm the affirmation accumulated over a anniversary of testimony.
“He was adopted to be a accessible servant,” McVey said. “He did not do that. He became its master.”
He again told jurors, “This actor is accusable of anniversary and every calculation in this indictment, and we ask that you acquisition him guilty.”
Loughry’s lawyer, John Carr, said the case has bootless over this accomplished anniversary to prove the allegations adjoin Loughry.
Striding in advanced of the board rather than continuing at the podium, Carr said the accountability is on the government to prove the allegations above a reasonable doubt.
“It isn’t ‘more likely.’ It isn’t ‘maybe.’ It is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’” Carr said. “The affirmation in this case is not acceptable of that burden.”
Carr additionally went through anniversary of the allegations adjoin Loughry, adage added assemblage who had taken the angle had either aria or misremembered circumstances.
He additionally questioned some of the concepts that accept been brought up over and over in this balloon — whether anyone had agitated to accede what a home appointment absolutely agency or what absolutely constitutes claimed travel.
And Carr questioned whether an aged “Cass Gilbert” board Loughry is accused of demography to his own home absolutely has the amount declared by added witnesses.
“The state’s case rises and avalanche aggravating to argue you, the board there is article admirable about these desks, that they are accompaniment treasures,” Carr said.
“It’s the agnate of John Brown’s bang or Will Grier’s soon-to-be-awarded Heisman Trophy.”
As Loughry beforehand testified back he took the angle in his own defense, Carr appropriate that the justice’s biking in accompaniment cartage consistently complex a assignment purpose such as speaking to academy children, accessory conferences or speaking with administrative admiral in his own community.
Even trips to The Greenbrier for book signings were a anatomy of cloister beat as Loughry would adduce with citizens about the cloister system, Carr said.
“It’s the government that accusation prove above a reasonable agnosticism that he capital to use the accompaniment abettor for claimed travel,” Carr said.
Carr concluded, “Is Amends Loughry accusable of these 22 federal crimes above a reasonable doubt? The affirmation does not abutment that.”
Loughry originally faced 25 federal charges, but three were dismissed voluntarily by prosecutors afore aperture statements alike began. Those adduce had to do with an aged “Cass Gilbert” board Loughry was accused of demography home from the Capitol, and a accompanying obstruction charge.
The actual adduce adjoin Loughry, the columnist of “Don’t Buy Addition Vote, I Won’t Pay for Landslide: The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia,” adduce him of mail fraud, wire fraud, ytical with a attestant and lying to federal agents.
Most of the counts adduce that he acclimated a accompaniment abettor and state-issued gasoline agenda for claimed travel. Two added are artifice counts that he collection the accompaniment abettor to conferences but additionally accustomed biking amount reimbursement.
One is a attestant ytical count, alleging he approved to drillmaster Supreme Cloister abettor Kim Ellis into a account about the amount of his appointment renovation, alive a federal ysis was possible.
And two added counts accept to do with the aged “Cass Gilbert” board in Loughry’s home.
One alleges he fabricated a apocryphal account about the abode of the board to an FBI agent, and addition alleges he instructed Supreme Cloister backer Jennifer Bundy to affair a apocryphal account to media about a home appointment action for justices.
Public altercation has amidst Loughry for added than a year now as he faced accusation afterwards accusation about the big-ticket adjustment of his office, his use of accompaniment abettor for clandestine biking and his affective an aged “Cass Gilbert” board from the accompaniment Capitol to his home.
The scandals started with WCHS-TV letters about the appointment renovation. Loughry, in those television reports, initially abhorrent accursed Supreme Cloister ambassador Steve Canterbury.
Loughry went to federal board with his concerns, bidding them to dig into Supreme Cloister finances.
The balloon has lasted added than a anniversary already. A abounding day of board alternative was appropriate aftermost Tuesday to acquisition 12 jurors additional two alternates who bidding an accessible mind, admitting a year of media absorption on Loughry.
Federal prosecutors alleged a ambit of assemblage — some to accommodate ability on the biking annal and corpuscle belfry abstracts that composed the courage of the case.
Others, like Ellis, Bundy and above Supreme Cloister Amends Brent Benjamin declared not alone the ins and outs of how the cloister functions, but additionally their interactions with Loughry.
Finally, the aegis alleged Loughry himself, who anguish up against about everybody else’s affidavit over the advance of his own six hours on the attestant stand.
Before the balloon began and at anniversary day’s conclusion, Judge Copenhaver has warned jurors to beacon bright of both acceptable and amusing media, area they ability accidentally be apparent to advice about Loughry.
After Loughry’s aegis assured closing arguments, federal prosecutors were accustomed to action a real.
Federal prosecutor Philip Wright, speaking to the board one added time, said that Loughry’s aegis above bottomward to “a lot of bodies are lying about me, a lot of bodies misremember things about me and ‘I forgot.’”
“Prisons are abounding of bodies who acclimatized bad judgement,” Wright told jurors.
Of all the affidavit that Loughry has refuted, Wright said, “You counterbalance the believability and appraise this — who has the greatest allurement at the attestant angle to lie?”
Wright assured by apropos to the old adage that ability corrupts.
“The actor is a walking, talking archetype of that.”
He again cited a access from Loughry’s own book that conveyed how capital it is for the accessible to accept aplomb in the administrative system.
“He betrayed his own words,” Wright said. “Find him guilty.”
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