CHARLESTON, W.Va. — McDowell County Circuit Judge Booker Stephens will retire from the bench.

Stephens notified Gov. Jim Justice of his retirement, which will be effective May 31, in a letter in December.

“I think it’s really time for me to go and do something else,” he said in a statement. “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 has been on the bench for 34 years; he was elected in 1984, 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2016.

He also founded Law Day in 1996, which aims to promote law principles to McDowell County students. He sponsors several related contests.

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