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LATEST: Former Mingo County Commissioner sentenced to 20 months in prison

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CHARLESTON, WV -

UPDATE:

Former Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden was sentenced to 20 months in prison Jan. 29 for charges of extortion.

Baisden received a reduced sentence that also includes three years supervised probation and monetary restitution. The judge said because of Baisden's age and lack of pervious convictions he did not receive the full sentence.

Baisden's sentence was also stayed for 60 days. He has been ordered to report to prison by April 4 at 2:00 p.m.

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ORGINAL:

A Mingo Co. Commissioner pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge Tuesday morning.

David Baisden, 66, of Delbarton, pleaded guilty to attempted extortion before U.S. District Judge Copenhaver.

He pleaded not guilty to the same charge in August during a previous court appearance.

(Thornsbury, Baisden plead "not guilty" to federal charges)

Baisden is accused of abusing his powers as the county's purchasing agent. A federal indictment read that Baisden tried buying tires for his personal vehicle from Appalachian Tire at a county discount.

The commissioner first sent a co-worker to Appalachian Tire to ask for the price reduction. Then, Baisden left two voicemails at the store, asking why he couldn't get the discount.

When Appalachian Tire refused to fulfill his demands, Baisden pulled the county's contract.

Baisden stepped down as purchasing agent in August. As part of his plea agreement, Baisden is also expected to resign as commissioner before his sentencing. Judge Copenhaver told Baisden he can never hold or run for public office again.

After the hearing, the commissioner jumped into a pickup truck with his attorney, Jim Cagle, and his granddaughter.

"I love 'em and I want 'em to continue to pray for me," said Baisden, referring to the people of Mingo County.

An information filed Sept. 19 in federal court also named Baisden as part of a conspiracy to deprive a man of his constitutional rights. Baisden is accused of scheming with the late Mingo Co. Sheriff Eugene Crum, former Judge Michael Thornsbury, and Prosecutor Michael Sparks.

According to court documents, the group's motive was to hide that Crum had bought prescription pills from a known drug dealer.

Baisden did not comment when asked about his involvement in this alleged plot.

(Sheriff Eugene Crum linked to Mingo Co. officials in federal investigation)

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Baisden has been cooperative in the ongoing investigation and will not be charged.

Baisden will be sentenced January 14, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. He could face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.