MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The insurer for West Virginia county governments wants a judge to declare it has no obligation to defend a sheriff who resigned in disgrace and pleaded guilty in the beating of a bank robbery suspect.
Jefferson County's Robert Shirley pleaded guilty earlier this month to violating the rights of suspect Mark Daniel Haines after a December 2010 car chase. He is now awaiting sentencing in U.S. District Court.
A related civil lawsuit is set to be tried this fall.
But the West Virginia Counties Group Self-Insurance Risk Pool wants Judge John Preston Bailey to rule that it doesn't have to defend Shirley in that case or pay any damages that may be awarded.
The risk pool also asked the judge on Thursday to limit its obligations for two co-defendants.