Justice Loughry pleads not guilty to federal indictment charges

By Jeff Jenkins and Brad McElhinny, WV Metronews

CHARLESTON — Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon to the charges in the 22-count federal criminal indictment unsealed earlier this week.

Loughry, 47, spoke just a few times during the five-minute arraignment before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley at the Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston.

“Mr. Loughry how do you plead?” Tinsley asked.

“Not guilty, sir,” Loughry responded.

Loughry entered and exited the courthouse with his attorney John Carr. There was no comment to questions from reporters.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver. Tinsley set Loughry’s trial for Aug. 28. A pretrial motions hearing was scheduled for Aug. 7.

Loughry allegedly committed mail fraud, wire fraud, tampered with a witness and lied to federal agents. The case revolves around court spending and Loughry’s use of a state vehicle and how he was reimbursed for the use of that vehicle.

An order is expected soon at the state Supreme Court that would put judicial conduct proceedings involving Loughry on hold until the criminal case concludes. The state Judicial Investigation Commission filed a statement of charges earlier this month claiming Loughry broke the Judicial Code of Conduct 32 times. Most of the charges alleged Loughry repeatedly lied about court spending.

An appointed Supreme Court suspended Loughry without pay after the JIC charges were filed.

Loughry remains free on $10,000 bail.

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