CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former state Supreme Court Justice Elliott “Spike” Maynard, 71, died Thursday night at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Memorial Hospital where he had been a patient since April 6.  Maynard had been on a ventilator.

File photo

Spike Maynard

Maynard was elected to a 12-year term on the state Supreme Court as a Democrat in 1996 after serving as a circuit judge in Mingo County for more than 15 years. Before that he was a county prosecutor.  In 2010, Maynard switched parties and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the 3rd District as a Republican against current Congressman Nick Rahall.

West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas released a statement Thursday night calling Maynard “a brilliant legal mind and champion of the conservative cause.”

Lucas went on to say that Maynard would go down “as one of the most colorful individuals to ever enter public life in the Mountain State.” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Maynard was a devoted and talented lawyer and Supreme Court justice and “his love for the state was evident.”

Maynard’s one term on the Supreme Court came to a controversial end because of his friendship with former Massey Energy President and CEO Don Blankenship. He was criticized for ruling in favor of Massey on the appeal of a significant civil case. A 2006 trip to Monaco Maynard and Blankenship took together was at the center of the controversy. Maynard would eventually put out a statement saying the friendship did not impact his work on the High Court.

“Like most judges I don’t reward my friends or punish my enemies from the bench,” Maynard said at the time.

Maynard took himself off the Massey case when it was reconsidered by the court. He lost his reelection bid to the High Court in 2008. Two years later he took on Rahall.

GOP leader Lucas said Thursday night he was glad Maynard ended his life as a member of the Republican team.

“Spike’s counsel will live on for so many of us. In losing Spike, West Virginia lost a leader, a pioneer, a genius and a legend. Many of us lost a great friend today and we lift up his family and those closest to him in their time of need. May God bless you, Spike Maynard,” Lucas said.




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  • Big T

    Or, should I say, tooshay. Lol

  • Jonus Grumby

    I'm not going to comment on the man's political history, good or bad. Rest in peace, sir and condolences to your family and friends.

  • Reader

    I'm very sad over the loss of a true gentleman.
    Granted, none of us are perfect & that said I
    think "Spike" was a brilliant man. I've read many of his opinions and glad his suffering is over but a huge void remains to so many.
    He was the biggest fan of his home county and for that Mingo Co. is very proud to call him a favorite son. RIP

  • Benjean Rapp

    I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Spike, here in Nicholas County, during his run for Congress. He will be missed by many. Prayers for his family and friends as he is laid to rest.

  • cutty77

    My Best to The Maynard family. Spike was One Hellva of a Man. Rest in Peace Spike. He lived a Great Life.

  • arp

    Spike was a good guy. He saw the "big picture." He did not pander to the anti-business crowd like so many West Virginia politicians do; he knew we need industry to provide jobs and a tax base. He was a fair judge and Supreme Court justice. I wish we had more like him!

  • Big T

    I'm sorry for his passing. And I wish his family strength during this time of mourning.
    But his legacy as another bad spot on wv politics will remain. No other way around it, he was in political bed with the man responsible for the deaths of the miners in Upper Big Branch disaster.
    It is what it is.

    • cutty77

      This Man has passed on,must you bring up this negative stuff. Go to Hell Man

      • Big T

        Like I said. It is what it is. We all write our epitaphs by our deeds. We all also make mistakes. But the difference is owning up to them and making them as right we possibly can. I am entitled to my opinion. And you, yours. The only difference is that I posses the intellect to not stoop to using profanity to express myself.

        • cutty77

          The only thing you Possess is how not to spell Possess.

          • Big T


  • WVtoTX

    I had the pleasure of meeting Justice Maynard several times while I was in law school, he was funny and very kind to me. God bless his family.

  • Jethro

    Maynards vacation pic with Don Blankenship told me all I needed to know about what a great fellow Maynard was.

    • Big T


  • Harvey

    I knew Elliot for over forty years. We were in the same class at the WVU College of Law. We were friends. He was a good guy who could rise above petty politics in his relationships with his friends. I am sad today. I am heart broken to see his death exploited by cheap political operatives. The memory of Elliot Maynard deserves better. May God rest the soul of Justice Maynard.

    • Big T

      Dead or alive. Your legacy is what it is.

      • cutty77

        Your a ASS too.

        • Big T

          You're funny.

          • Big T

            When I said "you're funny", I was speaking to cutty77.

        • DonBisSad

          Spike Maynard brought shame upon the WV judicial system THAT is his legacy and it was his choice. I hope those vacations gambling in Monaco with Don Blankenship were worth it, and maybe it was to him. Also, we all know the Monaco vacation was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Spikes career.

          • Big T

            I agree DonBisSad

  • Pickle Barrel

    A great jurist and a good friend.

  • Susan Brocato

    Spike passed away today around 7 pm

  • Docbegone

    Get well soon Spike.
    We the people will take care of Nicky Joe this election.

  • cutty77

    I wish Spike The Best. He's a pretty Tough Son of a Gun.