Mingo officer involved in corruption case faces lawsuit for beatings
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Mingo County police officer said to be involved in a high-profile corruption case also is accused in the beating of two men who claim they were threatened with further harm if they reported the incident.
Summonses were issued last week in a lawsuit involving Mingo County officers from state and local law enforcement agencies.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, names Gilbert Officer Nathan Glanden as one of several officers involved in the August 2011 incident.
Glanden also was listed in the federal corruption indictment against Mingo Judge Michael Thornsbury earlier this month. Thornsbury remains free on bond while he awaits his October jury trial in federal court. He also has been suspended from his position as a circuit court judge.
The indictment alleges that Glanden, who now serves as assistant police chief in Gilbert, obtained an arrest warrant for Robert Woodruff, the husband of Thornsbury's former mistress, a month after the incident occurred. Glanden, according to the indictment, did not conduct the investigation.
Bobby Lester and Jimmy West filed the lawsuit against Glanden and other officers on Aug. 2.
The pair are represented by Huntington Attorney Richard Weston, who also is the attorney for Tennis Melvin Maynard, the Delbarton man accused of gunning down Mingo Sheriff Eugene Crum in broad daylight in April.
Lester and West claim they had just returned home from "the races in Mingo County" when Glanden and a few other police officers appeared at West's home asking the whereabouts of a gun, according to court documents.
A police officer living nearby apparently had a weapon stolen from his home, according to the document. West told Glanden he had no idea about the gun but the officer told him he would return.
"True to his word, Glanden and numerous officers, including all defendant officers, kicked in Mr. West's door and severely beat Mr. West and Mr. Lester for no reason and without provocation," the complaint said.
"After the beating, the officers simply left. Neither Mr. West nor Mr. Lester were arrested or ever charged with a crime.
"Before leaving, one officer informed Mr. West that he should not mention the incident to anyone or his life would become 'a living hell.' "
West and Lester were treated at a hospital. Also named as defendants in the document were J.R. Tupper of the State Police, a Gilbert officer referred to only as Thomas, and State Police troopers identified as Douglas and Robinson. No first names were given for the latter three.
Calls to the Gilbert Police Department went unanswered Monday and Tuesday. A message for Weston wasn't returned.
Sgt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman, said he couldn't discuss open civil litigation.
"Often, I wish we could have an open and frank discussion concerning the facts; however, we are bound by a set of rules which governs our behavior," Baylous said.
"As we are all aware, lawsuits in our country can be filed for both legitimate and illegitimate reasons but fortunately, we have a court system which attempts to separate fact from fiction.
"That established court system is the best place to make such a determination rather than in the court of public opinion."
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.