AP NEWS

Life sentence for man in West Virginia coal exec’s death

January 19, 2018

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — A second man has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 15 years in the fatal shooting of a coal executive at a West Virginia cemetery.

News outlets report Mingo Circuit Judge Miki Thompson handed down the sentence Thursday for 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, of Louisa, Kentucky. Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty last month in the killing of Bennett K. Hatfield, who was shot while visiting his wife’s gravesite in May 2016.

Fitzpatrick admitted he was with 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga, of Delphos, Ohio, when Arriaga killed Hatfield in a scheme to steal his GMC Yukon Denali and sell its parts. Arriaga was sentenced in December after being convicted of murder, robbery and conspiracy.

Prosecutor Duke Jewell said Fitzpatrick came up with the scheme to kill Hatfield and steal his vehicle. He said Arriaga shot Hatfield but panicked and failed to steal the vehicle.

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