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Judge will not stand down in James Brown case

Sat. Jan 5 - 4:47 AM

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - A judge handling James Brown's contested fortune refused Friday to remove himself from the case despite an argument from the late soul singer's former trustees that he forced them to resign.

"I would never force anyone to do anything, that's not me," Circuit Judge Jack Early said.

Buddy Dallas and Alford Bradley, who both spent years handling Brown's financial affairs, resigned in November. A few weeks later, they claimed the judge had pressured them to resign. On Friday, a lawyer for the trustees tried to retract the argument that the judge be removed, but Early wouldn't allow it and then ruled he wouldn't step aside.

The singer's six adult children have been at odds with the trustees, claiming money has been mismanaged.

Since Brown's death on Christmas Day 2006, several people, including some claiming to be Brown's unacknowledged children, have come forward wanting a piece of his estate.

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