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Benjamin won't withdraw from Massey case

Feb. 22, 2008 @ 12:14 AM

Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin said Friday afternoon he will not disqualify himself from a case in which two fellow justices have already bowed out.

Benjamin said in his response to a motion for his recusal that there is no evidence he is biased in a case between Massey Energy and several smaller mining companies Massey allegedly stole coal contracts from. Massey CEO Don Blankenship spent $3.5 million in 2004 to get Benjamin elected over then-Justice Warren McGraw.

Chief Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard removed himself from the case last month after photos surfaced showing the judge and Blankenship vacationing together in France. Justice Larry Starcher stepped down last week, saying his public opinions of Blankenship could create the appearance of bias.

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