CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis on Tuesday welcomed Madison attorney William Stewart Thompson to the circuit court bench.

"I've known him and his family for a long time," Davis, a Boone County native, said in a press release. "He's a man of honesty and integrity. I look forward to working with him."

Gov. Joe Manchin appointed Thompson, 37, to fill the vacancy in the 25th Judicial Circuit of Boone and Lincoln counties created by the retirement of Judge E. Lee Schlaegel Jr. on Dec. 31.

Thompson is a lifelong resident of Boone County, a graduate of West Virginia University and West Virginia University College of Law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1995 and has been a Boone County mental hygiene commissioner since 2002. He will be West Virginia's youngest circuit judge.

Thompson said it will take him more than a week to transfer his cases to others in his practice. He has not set a date to take the oath of office.

Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury said Thompson will attend a judicial training session later this month in Charleston along with other new circuit judges.

"We look forward to working with Judge Thompson, and we especially look forward to the vitality that his youth will bring to the bench," Canterbury said in a press statement.

Thompson said, "I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to serve the people of Boone and Lincoln counties. It's the fulfillment of a longtime dream."

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