The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

September 9, 2013

Suspicious fire destroys judge's family home

WILLIAMSON — Kentucky authorities are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed the childhood home of a West Virginia judge charged with trying to frame his mistress’ husband for false crimes.

An arson investigator for the Kentucky State Police didn’t immediately return a message Monday.

Media outlets report that the unoccupied house 10 miles south of Williamson in Canada, Ky., was built by the grandfather of Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury and was his retreat before it burned last week.

Federal prosecutors in West Virginia say Thornsbury had an affair with his secretary and tried to frame her husband for various crimes between 2008 and 2012.

He’s accused of enlisting the help of a state trooper and commandeering the grand jury. He’s pleaded not guilty and faces trial Oct. 15.

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