CHARLESTON -- State Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis on Tuesday appointed Senior Status Judge Robert B. Stone of Monongalia County to immediately begin presiding in all cases in the Third Judicial Circuit.

Stone will hear cases in Doddridge, Pleasants and Ritchie Counties until Gov. Joe Manchin III names a permanent replacement for Circuit Judge Robert L. Holland Jr., who died Sept. 20.

The person the governor names will serve until the general election in 2012.

Stone, 67, is a Republican who was appointed to the bench in 1985 after the death of Circuit Judge Frank DuPond in a car accident. He was subsequently re-elected until he retired in 2008, after deciding not to run for another eight-year term.

Before serving as a judge, Stone was a lawyer in private practice and a part-time assistant Monongalia County prosecutor.

He is married and has six children.

Holland's funeral will be held on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Church Street in West Union. Interment will follow in the Masonic Memorial Park in West Union. Visitation will be on Sept. 25 from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Spurgeon Funeral Home in West Union.

Holland is survived by his wife, Kimberlee (Norris) Holland; his son Robert L. "Trey" Holland III; his daughter, Hunter Shea Holland; two sisters and one nephew. He was a graduate of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. He obtained a political science degree from West Virginia University in 1975 and a law degree from the WVU College of Law in 1981. He practiced law in Doddridge County from 1981 until his appointment to the Third Judicial Circuit bench in 1997.

He was a former president of West Union Bank, past member and vice-chairman of the Doddridge Republican Executive Committee, a member and board member of the West Union Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in West Union. He was involved in youth athletics and formed the Doddridge County youth soccer league.

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