Energy

Suspect Arrested In Shooting Death Of Coal Executive

(REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

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Chris White Tech Reporter

A man has been arrested for the murder of Bennett “Ben” Hatfield, a former executive with now-bankrupt Arch Coal.

Hatfield was found dead from a gun shot wound in a Mingo County, W.V., cemetery near his wife Debbie’s grave. The Hatfields had been married 25 years before her death.

Mingo Sheriff James Smith said Tuesday during a press conference Anthony R. Arriaga, 20, is being held on a homicide warrant in Allen County, Ohio.

Police say Arriaga crept along a river abutting the cemetery until he found some neighbors to take him to Wayne County. One of the neighbors eventually came forward to reveal he had taken the suspect to Hatfield’s town.

Authorities were baffled about the case until the neighbor came forward.

Hatfield was the CEO of International Coal Group in 2006, after the company’s Sago Mine exploded and killed 12 miners. He expressed deep regret to the families of the dead miners at the time after the company mistakenly led them to believe for three hours their loved ones were alive.

“In the process of being cautious, we allowed the jubilation to go on longer than it should have,” Hatfield said, choking back tears. The former CEO said the mistake stemmed from a miscommunication between the miners and the rescuers.

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