Ohio man pleads guilty in killing of ex-coal executive

AP News
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Posted: Apr 12, 2017 4:35 AM

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — An Ohio man has pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of a former coal executive in southern West Virginia.

News outlets report Anthony R. Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, told a Mingo County judge Tuesday that he had been using drugs and had little sleep over several days before he killed Bennett Hatfield in a cemetery last May.

Hatfield had been visiting his wife's gravesite. He resigned in 2015 as president and CEO of Patriot Coal.

Arriaga said he and co-defendant Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick of Louisa, Kentucky, plotted to steal Hatfield's SUV and sell its parts.

Arriaga faces life in prison on a first-degree murder charge. Sentencing has been set for May 17.

Fitzpatrick, who is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy, is due in court for a pretrial hearing Thursday.