Funeral Services This Weekend for Former State Supreme Court Justice

By: Steffany Puckett Email
By: Steffany Puckett Email

UPDATE @ 5/2/14 @ 2:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Services will be held Sunday for former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard.

The court says Maynard died Thursday at a Charleston hospital. He was 71.

Visitation will be held Saturday at Weaver Mortuary in Williamson. His funeral will be Sunday at Belfry Baptist Church in Goody, Kentucky.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered all State flags displayed at all State facilities be displayed at half-staff from dawn to dusk on Sunday, May 4, the day of the services.

"Justice Maynard served the people of West Virginia for many years-as a justice and as a circuit court judge. I knew him personally during my time in the legislature," Gov. Tomblin said. "It's a very sad day for his family and friends. Joanne and I offer our condolences."

A graduate of Belfry High School, Maynard joined the U.S. Air Force in 1961. He served in a reconnaissance group during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was later assigned to the 306th Bomb Wing in the Strategic Air Command.

Maynard attended Florida Southern College, graduating in 1967. He received his law degree from the West Virginia University School of Law in 1974.

Maynard was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Mingo County in 1976 and re-elected to the position in 1980.

Maynard was elected to a 12-year term as a Democrat in 1996.

Maynard drew criticism when it was disclosed he vacationed on the French Riviera with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship in 2006 before voting with the majority in a 3-2 decision reversing a $76 million judgment against Massey.

Maynard recused himself when the court reheard the case. He lost his re-election bid a few months later.

Maynard switched parties and unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for Congress in 2010.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/1/14 @ 10:10 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- A former State Supreme Court Justice has died.

A spokesperson for CAMC has confirmed Elliot "Spike " Maynard passed away Thursday evening.

Maynard was elected to a 12 year term on the State Supreme Court as a democrat in 1996.

Justice Brent D. Benjamin said, “Justice Spike Maynard practiced law, served the people of Mingo County as both a prosecutor and circuit judge, and served West Virginia as both a Justice and Chief Justice on our Supreme Court of Appeals. He loved the law. He loved West Virginia. And, with all his heart, he loved Mingo County. In many ways, Spike was larger than life. Yet the Spike I got to know was a quiet, considerate and compassionate man, a man with a warm smile and a deep concern about protecting children and helping those victimized by crime. It was a pleasure serving with Justice Maynard. My heart goes out to his loved ones.”

In 2010, Maynard switched parties and unsuccessfully ran for a Congress in the 3rd District as a Republican against Congressman Nick Rahall.

Former Justice Thomas McHugh said, “He was a leader of the Court. He was able to bring his experience as a circuit judge to the Supreme Court. He had great experience. He espoused his positions very strongly on things he believed. I appreciate the fact that he appointed me when Justice Albright was ill.”

Maynard was 71 years old.

Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury added, “We’ll all miss the sweetness of his voice.”

During an interview back in 2007, Justice Maynard said, “Whatever success I have been lucky to have in my life came in large part because of the people in Mingo County and the things I learned from them growing up. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I grew up in an amazing place. I often think how lucky I have been in my life, and I have been. One of the luckiest things was growing up in Mingo County in the 50s and 60s. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything on the planet."

“I’d rather be in Mingo County, West Virginia, than any place on the planet. That’s principally because of family and friends,” Justice Maynard said. “When I leave this world I will be buried there.”

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