WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The two men who allegedly murdered coal executive Ben Hatfield during a 2016 robbery in Mingo County are scheduled to go on trial this fall.
New trial dates were set as part of a pretrial hearings Thursday for Anthony Arriaga, 22, of Gibonsburg, Ohio, and Brandon Fitzpatrick, 19, of Louisa, Ky.
Police allege the pair wanted to steal Hatfield’s Denali SUV after spotting it while he was visiting his wife’s and in-law’s graves at Mountain View Memory Gardens in Maher. Hatfield, who worked during his career as a top executive at ICG, Massey Energy and Patriot Coal, was shot and killed.
Arriaga, who allegedly fired the shots, will go on trial Sept. 25. Mingo County Circuit Judge Miki Thompson set Fitzpatrick’s trial for Oct. 5.
Judge Thompson made several pretrial rulings Thursday.
Over defense attorney objections, Thompson agreed with a motion from prosecutors to allow recorded phone conversations Fitzpatrick has made to friends and family members while in jail to be presented as evidence during his trial.
In the Arriaga case, Thompson said she’ll need time to study the transcripts of statements that Arriaga made to police and reporters before deciding if they can be used in his trial.
Williamson Daily News reporter Travis Crum was in the courtroom and provided information for this story.