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November 13, 2017

Fitzpatrick is charged with killing W.Va. coal executive at graveyard in 2016

Ben Hatfield, left,  Fitzpatrick (top) and and ArriagoBen Hatfield, left, Fitzpatrick (top) and and Arriago

written by Wade QUEEN

The trial of the second of two men accused in the 2016 fatal shooting of a West Virginia coal executive has been delayed for a third time.

News reports at the end of last week that the murder trial for 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, of Louisa, Kentucky, was pushed forward last week from Monday, November 13 to December 4 to allow Fitzpatrick's attorneys time to receive and process transcripts from the murder trial of 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga.

Mingo County, West Virginia authorities say Fitzpatrick, who was 18 at the time of the murder, along with Arriaga, murdered 59-year-old Bennett K. Hatfield, who was visiting his wife's and her parents' grave sites at the Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in the Maher area of Mingo County, when he was shot to death in May 2016.

Prosecutors say the two young men killed Hatfield as part of a scheme to steal his vehicle and sell its parts, but after his arrest Fitzpatrick told law enforcement officials that he and Arriaga panicked when, after shooting him, Ben Hatfield ran for cover over the riverbank.

Arriaga also went over the riverbank after he panicked, and Fitzpatrick drove off, leaving Arriaga there. Police investigators say Fitzpatrick stated he thought Arriaga was going to take Hatfield's keys and follow him. However, neither man stole anything from Hatfield or his vehicle.

Ben Hatfield was the former vice president of Patriot Coal Corp. 

Arriaga was convicted last month of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and and two counts of conspiracy for his part in the killing death of Hatfield. Arriaga was sentenced to life in prison, but with mercy, a move that was recommended by the trial jury, but was reportedly upsetting to Hatfield's family and friends.

Anthony Arriaga's trial, which also had been delayed from its original starting date of September 25, began on Monday October 16 and ended on Friday October 20 with his conviction on all charges by the jury.

Brandon Fitzpatrick's murder trial was originally set to begin October 5, but was delayed until November 6, then pushed back a week until November 13, but is now delayed until Monday December 4, with that date not exactly set in stone, as it is in the always fluid criminal judicial process.



0 #1 Joe f daugherty 2017-11-20 04:45
They both should be hung for cold blooded murder.

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