Last updated: July 16. 2014 10:34PM - 597 Views
By Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

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CHARLESTON — Mingo County’s former prosecutor has decided he would like to spend his time in federal prison closer to home.

In a motion filed Monday, ex-Prosecutor Michael Sparks’ attorney informed the U.S. District Court in Charleston that he was changing his preference of locations for incarceration.

When sentenced to a year in the federal correctional system last week, Sparks, 44, had requested that he be sent to the Federal Prison Camp in Manchester, Kentucky. Now, his attorney, Kent Varney, said Sparks would prefer a similar camp in Ashland, Kentucky.

Although the federal Bureau of Prisons is not required to abide by an inmate’s request, sources familiar with the system said such requests are “normally followed if there is no reason not to do so.”

Potential relocation from Manchester to Ashland would put Sparks about 50 miles closer to Mingo County. Travel time to and from the jail would be reduced by nearly two hours, round-trip, according to MapQuest.

Sparks pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston to violating the constitutional rights of a man to protect former Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. He is convicted of conspiring with disgraced former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury and ex-county commissioner David Baisden to deprive printer George White of his right to retain the legal counsel of his choice.

Sparks still has about a week remaining to file an appeal of his sentence. Johnston had earlier granted his request to self-report.

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