Crum was shot dead April 3 as he sat in his cruiser in Williamson. An affidavit for a search warrant that was unsealed in October revealed that FBI agents were investigating Crum for several months before his death.
Rockel retired as police chief and joined the Mingo County Sheriff's Department as chief field deputy in June. However, the new Mingo sheriff, James Smith, fired Rockel in September, shortly after Smith was appointed.
After White's arrest, federal investigators approached White's lawyer, Butch West, and asked to talk to White about allegations that he provided drugs to Crum. White told FBI agents that on "multiple occasions prior to his arrest, he unlawfully provided Crum with prescription narcotic pills at Crum's request," according to federal court documents.
After firing West -- at the request of Sparks, Baisden and Crum -- White hired attorney Ron Rumora. Rumora has said he didn't know about the scheme to keep White quiet until federal prosecutors charged Thornsbury.
White then entered into a plea agreement offered by Sparks that dropped three of five charges and would allow his sentences to run at the same time, according to prosecutors. Also, Sparks reduced White's bail amount from $20,000 to $10,000, Sparks said.
White pleaded guilty on April 8 to delivery of oxycodone and possession of oxycodone and morphine with an attempt to deliver.
Thornsbury was told about the scheme and agreed with it, the former judge admitted at his plea hearing. Thornsbury sentenced White in May to one to 15 years on both charges and ordered the sentences to run at the same time.
Sparks has pleaded guilty in federal court to violating White's constitutional rights -- by not allowing him to choose his own lawyer -- and Thornsbury has pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate White's rights. Sparks and Thornsbury resigned as part of their plea deals with federal prosecutors. Baisden was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in a separate matter.
White re-hired West, who filed a request on Oct. 31, asking the judge to throw out White's initial guilty plea. White has been out of jail since Nov. 15, when the judge released him until ruling on the motion.
White's new trial is scheduled for April 14. His attorneys previously had filed a change of venue motion.
A hearing is scheduled Monday to discuss pre-trial matters. West said he hopes the judge will approve of the charges being dropped at that hearing.
"We anticipate that we will resolve this issue with George White, knock on wood," West said. "Just about every kind of evidentiary of constitutional violation you could do they did against this man.
"A lot of times, people take a plea that is dangled in front of them, because it's in their best interest -- not necessarily because they're guilty."
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.