6-10-13 W.Va. justices clear ex-prosecutor in sniper case

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Supreme Court says a former Kanawha County prosecutor did nothing wrong in a civil case related to the 2003 sniper slayings.

Friday’s unanimous decision blocks the Lawyer Disciplinary Board from pursuing conflict-of-interest allegations against Mike Clifford.

Clifford was Kanawha County’s elected prosecutor at the time of the slayings. The case remained opened when he left office the following year.

Clifford later represented county resident Sandra Shaffer in a lawsuit. Shaffer alleged her property was damaged during a March 2011 search conducted as part of the sniper investigation.

Friday’s ruling concludes that nothing that happened during Clifford’s time as prosecutor prevented him from taking Shaffer’s case.

Charleston resident Shawn Lester is in prison after pleading guilty last year to murder and other charges arising from the sniper slayings.

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