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Menis Ketchum, left, is sworn in as a West Virginia Supreme Court Justice by Judge Michael Thornsbury, right, as his wife Judy Ketchum holds the Bible in the West Virginia Supreme Court chambers at the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Bob Bird)

Plea Hearing Up Next For WV Justice

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A plea hearing has been scheduled for a former West Virginia Supreme Court justice facing a federal felony charge related to the personal use of state-owned vehicles and fuel cards.

News outlets cited court documents that say the hearing for Menis Ketchum is set for Aug. 23 in U.S. District Court in Charleston. U.S Attorney Mike Stuart announced last week that Ketchum was being charged and had agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Ketchum abruptly announced in a handwritten letter July 11 that he would step down effective July 27, two years before the end of his 12-year term. The letter gave no reason for his resignation.

A special election will be held to fill the remainder of Ketchum’s term.