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Ex-Mingo magistrate pleads guilty to vote charge

December 2, 2013
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Mingo County magistrate pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that he illegally registered a convicted felon to vote in the 2012 primary election.

Dallas Toler entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 10, 2014, court documents show.

Toler was accused of knowing in April 2012 that a person was on probation for a felony at the time the voter registration application was submitted. He was charged Oct. 9 with falsification or concealment of material facts. He resigned the same day.

Toler is the latest Mingo County official to plead guilty to federal charges stemming from a widespread probe of corruption in the southern West Virginia coalfields county.

Former county prosecutor Michael Sparks, who resigned in October, pleaded guilty in November to depriving George White of his constitutional rights. Sparks and former Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury were charged in a scheme to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations that Crum bought drugs from White.

Thornsbury pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to deprive White of his rights and resigned from the bench.

White pleaded guilty to drug charges in April. He has filed a petition in circuit court seeking dismissal of his plea.

Also in October, former Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden pleaded guilty to extortion in an unrelated case and resigned. He was accused of trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount, then terminating the county's contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate.

Thornsbury and Baisden are scheduled to be sentenced in January. Sparks' sentencing is scheduled in February.

Toler had served as magistrate since January 2012. He replaced Crum, who resigned to focus on his successful campaign for sheriff. Crum was fatally shot in April as he ate lunch in his car parked in downtown Williamson.

Tennis Melvin Maynard of Delbarton is charged in state court with murder in Crum's slaying. Maynard also is charged with attempted first-degree murder and fleeing, and he faces federal firearms charges. His trial is scheduled for March 2014.



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