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Trial Begins for 2nd Man Accused in Coal Executive’s Killing

The Free Press WV

A trial has begun for the second of two men accused in the 2016 deadly shooting of a West Virginia coal executive.

News outlets report Monday was the first trial day for 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, a Kentucky man charged with offenses including first-degree murder in the death of 59-year-old Bennett K. Hatfield.

Mingo County Prosecutor Duke Jewell says Fitzpatrick and an Ohio man, 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga, killed Hatfield as part of a scheme to steal his vehicle and sell its parts. Hatfield was visiting his wife’s gravesite when he was shot.

Arriaga was convicted in October of first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy. Arriaga is expected to get life in prison at his Dec. 12 sentencing.

Fitzpatrick’s defense attorney, Susan Van Zant, says Arriaga acted alone in killing Hatfield.

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