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Trial begins for man charged in coal executive's killing

October 17, 2017
Associated Press

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — The trial of the accused trigger man in the 2016 fatal shooting of a longtime coal executive in West Virginia began this week.

News outlets report Mingo County Prosecutor Duke Jewell said in opening statements Monday that 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga of Ohio told police he killed Bennett K. Hatfield in a plan to steal his SUV and sell it for parts.

Defense attorney Jane Moran said that statement shouldn't be interpreted as a confession as police didn't detail the circumstances around it. Moran also said authorities didn't investigate if accused co-conspirator 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick could have shot Hatfield.

Arriaga pleaded guilty to murder and robbery charges in April, but later withdrew his plea. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Fitzpatrick's trial is scheduled for next month.



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