WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of ex-coal chief executive Bennett Hatfield in southern West Virginia (all times local):
A prosecutor says two suspects in the killing of former coal executive Bennett Hatfield were plotting to steal his vehicle.
Authorities say Hatfield was visiting his wife’s gravesite at the Mountain View Memory Gardens in southern West Virginia when he was fatally shot. His body was found at the cemetery Monday. His SUV was found nearby.
Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard says 20-year-old Anthony Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, and 18-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick of Louisa, Kentucky, wanted to hijack a car.
According to Maynard, the two saw Hatfield’s vehicle and Fitzpatrick dropped off Arriaga. She says Fitzpatrick was going to get Hatfield’s vehicle. But after Hatfield was shot, Fitzpatrick disappeared and left Hatfield’s vehicle behind. Authorities believe Arriaga was the shooter.
Arriaga and Fitzpatrick are charged with first-degree murder. Fitzpatrick also is charged with conspiracy.
A prosecutor says authorities believe a suspect in the fatal shooting of former coal executive Bennett Hatfield obtained the gun that was used from another co-defendant.
Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard says 20-year-old Anthony Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, was given the gun by 18-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick of Louisa, Kentucky. Maynard says investigators believe the two were plotting to steal a vehicle.
Arriaga was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge Thursday in Monday’s shooting of Hatfield. Fitzpatrick is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Maynard says Arriaga has no connections to southern West Virginia but came to the area because he was childhood friends with another co-defendant, 20-year-old Ricky Peterson of Wayne.
Maynard says it was through Peterson’s friendship that Arriaga met Fitzpatrick.
An Ohio man has been arraigned in the fatal shooting of former coal executive Bennett Hatfield in southern West Virginia.
Twenty-year-old Anthony R. Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, appeared Thursday on a first-degree murder charge in Mingo County Circuit Court in Williamson.
He was ordered held without bond pending a preliminary hearing June 3.
The body of the 59-year-old Hatfield was found Monday at the Mountain View Memory Gardens cemetery in nearby Maher where his wife is buried.
Arriaga was arrested Tuesday in Allen County, Ohio, before being returned to West Virginia.
Hatfield resigned last year as president and CEO of Patriot Coal. He was International Coal Group’s CEO when a 2006 explosion at the Sago Mine in northern West Virginia killed 12 miners.
Authorities say they have not determined a motive.