Former W.Va. Justice Elliott 'Spike' Maynard dies

Local - 5/2/2014 9:20 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard has died.

The court says in a news release that Maynard died Thursday at a Charleston hospital. He was 71. The release did not list a cause of death.

The Mingo County native was elected to a 12-year term on the court as a Democrat in 1996. He switched parties and unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for Congress in 2010.   

In 2007, Maynard drew criticism when it was disclosed that he had vacationed on the French Riviera with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship before voting with the majority in a 3-2 decision reversing a $76 million judgment against Massey. He recused himself when the court reheard the case. He lost his re-election bid a few months later.

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