Associated Press Published

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Former Coal Executive's Death


A suspect has pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of a former coal chief executive at a southern West Virginia cemetery.

Eighteen-year-old Brandon Fitzpatrick of Louisa, Kentucky, entered the plea to first-degree murder and conspiracy charges at his arraignment Monday in Mingo County Circuit Court. He was ordered held without bond.

Another suspect, 20-year-old Anthony Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, was arraigned May 26 on a first-degree murder charge.

The body of 59-year-old Bennett Hatfield was found May 25 at a cemetery where he had been visiting his wife’s grave. His SUV was found nearby. Authorities believe Arriaga and Fitzpatrick plotted to steal Hatfield’s SUV and sell its parts.

Hatfield resigned in 2015 as president and CEO of Patriot Coal.