Longtime McDowell County judge announces his retirement

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MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WVVA) Longtime McDowell County Circuit Court Judge Booker T. Stephens is stepping down from the bench.

After serving in the Eight Judicial Circuit for 34 years, Judge Stephens announced his retirement in a letter to Gov. Jim Justice. It’s effective May 31, 2019.

“I think it’s really time for me to go and do something else,” said Stephens “I’ve been here a long time, and enjoyed it. We did some great things here. It’s time for someone else and for me to ride off into the sunset and do other things.”

Stephens was born in Bluefield, WV and was raised in Warriormine, McDowell County.  He graduated from West Virginia State College and Howard University School of Law. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968. Judge Stephens starting practicing law in Welch in 1972 and was county prosecutor from 1976-1977. He was member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1978-1982.

Stephens was first elected to the circuit court in 1984 and was reelected in 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016. He founded Law Day in 1996 to help promote “the rule of law” to McDowell County students and give them a chance to shine by sponsoring contests centered “on a Law Day topic chosen by the American Bar Association.” Judge Stephens will participate in the annual event one final time on May 1.

“I’ve had very good people working with me and around me,” said Stephens. “I’ve been very thankful for the opportunity I’ve had over a number of years to be of service to the people of McDowell County and to the people of West Virginia.”

Post retirement, Judge Stephens said he plans to travel more and spend more time with his grandson.

See the full news release below:

Paul Hess

Paul Hess

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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