And when Robert Woodruff became the victim of an assault outside a convenience store last year by two men, the judge arranged for Woodruff to be identified as the perpetrator.
The county prosecutor dismissed the charges.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said none of the men accused of helping Thornsbury in his "campaign to persecute" Woodruff will be charged. However, he said, "the investigation into Mingo County corruption is ongoing."
Mingo County, a coalfields community of about 27,000 people on the state's southern border with Kentucky, has a long history of violence and government corruption.
It's the home of the legendary feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families, and was dubbed "Bloody Mingo" when unionizing miners battled security agents and coal companies in the early 20th century.
On the courthouse steps in Williamson, resident Angie Combs took the latest allegations of corruption in stride, embarrassed but not surprised.
"It's the same old, same old," she said.
In 1988, former sheriff Johnie Owens was convicted of selling his office for $100,000.
In 2002, the county clerk resigned to avoid prosecution over matters the prosecutor had been investigating, including use of a government credit card for personal reasons and overcharging for expenses.
In 2007, the prosecutor was admonished by the State Bar for subpoenas his office issued for a county commissioner's financial records.
And in February, a woman was charged with tipping people off about indictments while she served on the grand jury.
"The people of Mingo County are long overdue deliverance from the evils of government corruption," said Pittsburgh attorney Bruce Stanley, a native who has filed cases in Thornsbury's court. "After multiple generations of scandals, is it any wonder that southern West Virginia fatalism is so firmly entrenched? Why should they place faith in anyone who claims to be a community leader?"