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Court rejects appeal by ex-Morgan Co. magistrate

October 07, 2000

Court rejects appeal by ex-Morgan Co. magistrate



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer


BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The state Supreme Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal by former Morgan County Magistrate Bonnie Riffle of her conviction for falsely reporting that two men attacked her.

A Morgan County jury last year found Riffle guilty of fabricating a story that two men broke into her office on the night of Feb. 16, 1999, while she was working late. She told police the men grabbed her from behind and demanded money. She also claimed they cut her on the left cheek.

Riffle was convicted on three counts of giving false and misleading information to the state police and two counts of falsely reporting an emergency to the state police, all misdemeanor offenses.

Riffle was also convicted of two counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain Workers' Compensation benefits, a felony.

She was sentenced to five years on probation.

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Riffle appealed her conviction to the Supreme Court of Appeals, alleging there were a number of errors in her case. Among the alleged errors was whether an illegal search and seizure was conducted in her office, which may have resulted in the improper admission of various items during the trial, according to the Supreme Court.

In March, a three-judge panel ordered Riffle removed from office.

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