By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Postponed twice since the beginning of the year until February 13, former Tucker County resident Allen Loughry appeared before U.S. District Court Judge John Copenhaver for sentencing. After being found guilty on eleven out of twenty one charges while serving as a Supreme Court Justice, the sentence could have been as little as ten to sixteen months; however, Copenhaver elevated his sentence by three levels, confining him behind bars of a federal prison for two years. According to WV Metro News, Copenhaver’s reasoning was “Out of respect for the law”. During an investigation, Loughry was also found in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct over thirty times.
According to Loughry’s attorney John Carr, Loughry has signed an agreement to give up his law degrees in addition to never running for a public office again. Loughry told the court “he was “fully aware” of the seriousness of his actions and the impact it’s had on himself, his wife, and his twelve year old son”. He was also quoted saying, “I do not want to minimalize or trivialize what happened. I want to begin the long process of putting the pieces of my life back together, including getting a job and becoming a productive member of society. This has changed my life and my family forever”.
Prior to Copenhaver’s announcement of the penalty of his crimes, he was noted as saying his devotion to his family was not in question, though his actions while serving as a Supreme Court Justice was. He continued, “Then came the attempt to cover up (what happened.) With the exception of your statement today, I have not seen evidence of remorse. You alone are not responsible (for what happened at the Supreme Court) but your conduct has contributed mightily”.
Even though Carr requested the probation be served on home confinement, the elevation of the sentence was done under a provision entitled obstruction of justice. This was the result of determining Loughry had lied seven times during his trial period over matters such as utilizing state vehicles for personal use.
According to WV Metro News, as Loughry and Attorney Carr were seen exiting the court, they had nothing more to say than “no comment”. Loughry is to report on April 5 by 2 p.m. to a federal prison that has yet to be determined. He requested to serve his time in a facility close to Berkeley Springs.