CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On the same day that Michael Thornsbury resigned as a circuit judge in Mingo County and pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld a murder conviction from his court.
Darrell Davis was convicted of murder and other felonies in Thornsbury's court in August 2011. Davis broke into a cabin in July 2010, found his wife and another man, shot and killed the man, set fire to the cabin, hit his wife in the head with his rifle butt and drove her around for hours before he was talked into taking her to a hospital.
Davis represented himself at his trial, and argued in his appeal that Thornsbury should not have let him do that.
However, the Supreme Court justices, in a unanimous opinion, found that Thornsbury repeatedly warned Davis about the dangers of representing himself and advised him to confer with lawyers appointed to assist him on numerous occasions. They upheld Davis' conviction, and his sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.