The Latest: Deliberations start in W.Va. impeachment trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on the impeachment trial of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker and jury selection for the federal trial of suspended Justice Allen Loughry (all times local):

11 a.m.

The West Virginia Senate has started pondering the fate of impeached Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker.

Closing arguments were held Tuesday in Walker’s impeachment trial before senators voted to go into a closed session to begin deliberations.

A two-thirds majority of the 34-member Senate is required to remove Walker from office.

Walker is accused of abuse of authority, a charge also levied against three other impeached justices. It states they failed to control office expenses and maintain policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

House judiciary committee chairman John Shott served as the lead prosecutor in Walker’s Senate trial. He urged senators to sustain the impeachment article if they doubt that keeping her on the bench will help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the judicial branch of government.

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6:50 a.m.

The federal trial of a suspended West Virginia Supreme Court justice is starting a day after a colleague’s impeachment trial began in the state Senate.

Jury selection is set to get under way Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston for Justice Allen Loughry. He also has a Senate impeachment trial scheduled in November.

The 25-count federal indictment includes allegations that Loughry repeatedly lied about using his office for personal gain.

The House of Delegates in August impeached him and justices Beth Walker, Margaret Workman and Robin Davis. The cases targeted spending, including lavish office renovations, and also raised questions about corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty earlier this decade.

Walker’s impeachment trial in the Senate started Monday and is set to resume Tuesday.

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