Man Found Guilty of Killing of Former WV Coal Exec

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UPDATE (5:00 PM 10/20/17): 

WILLIAMSON, WV (WOWK) – The jury has returned a verdict in the trial of Anothny Arriaga for the fatal shooting of former coal executive Bennett “Ben” Hatfield.

Arriaga was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and two counts of conspiracy.

The jury is about to start the second phase to decide if he should receive mercy


UPDATE (6:00 PM 10/15/17):

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) – A trial is set to begin for one of two men charged in the fatal shooting of a former coal executive in West Virginia.

The Williamson Daily News reports that jury selection is scheduled to start Monday in the trial of 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga in Mingo County Circuit Court.

Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, and 20-year-old Brandon Fitzpatrick, of Louisa, Kentucky, are charged with murder in the May 2016 death of Bennett “Ben” Hatfield. Authorities say the 59-year-old Hatfield was visiting his wife’s gravesite when he was shot. He resigned in 2015 as Patriot Coal’s president and CEO.

Prosecutors say the men killed Hatfield as part of a scheme to steal his vehicle and sell its parts.

Fitzpatrick’s trial is scheduled to start on Nov. 6.

Information from: Williamson Daily News, http://www.williamsondailynews.com/

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


UPDATE: 9:16 A.M. 5/26/16

Arriaga was arraigned in Mingo County this morning, and he entered a non guilty plea. No bond has been set for Arriaga, and he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

UPDATE: 8:47 P.M. 5/25/16

Peterson is being held in Barboursville on obstruction of justice, giving false information to police. Arriaga told Peterson about the murder.

Peterson’s charges are coming from the Wayne County Prosecutors Office. Arriaga is in West Virginia and being held before he appears in Mingo County Thursday morning at 8:30. Arriaga and Fitzpatrick were dealing drugs in southern Wayne, County.

State Police adds Arriaga and Fitzpatrick went to Mingo County where no one would recognize them. Arriaga and Fitzpatrick noticed Hatfield’s nice car and attacked.

Route 52 is a known drug corridor connecting Mingo to Huntington and OH/KY. Arriaga gave a confession to authorities.

Police don’t believe there was much of struggle and Hatfield was caught by surprise. Arriaga does not have family in Wayne County but has “ties” there.

Arriaga’s mother was with Fitzpatrick when he was pulled over. Mother gave statement to WVSP but is not being charged by them in the case.


UPDATE: 6:30 PM 5/25/16

Elsmere, KY-On May 25, 2016 at approximately 10:44 a.m., Elsmere Police Officers were called to a business located in the 4300 block of Dixie Highway in regards to a possible kidnapping. The complaint was received by the Erlanger Communications Center from a clerk of the business.

Before the officer’s arrival, the parties involved left the vicinity in a white vehicle. Elsmere and Erlanger Officers located the vehicle in the area of Bartlett Avenue and Dixie Highway. After stopping the vehicle, officers determined that a kidnapping had not taken place.

During the course of the investigation, the occupants of the vehicle were arrested for drug related offenses.

Suspected Methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $5000 was confiscated. Further investigation led to information pertaining to an ongoing homicide investigation in Mingo County, West Virginia.

Officers from the Elsmere Police Department then exchanged information with West Virginia State Troopers regarding the homicide in West Virginia and the arrests in Elsmere.

At approximately 2:00 p.m., West Virginia State troopers arrived at the Elsmere Police Department to interview one of the suspects arrested by the Elsmere Police Department.

At the end of the interview, investigators from West Virginia sought an arrest warrant for Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick on the charges of First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. The warrant was signed in West Virginia and entered into NCIC.

After receiving confirmation of the warrant, it was served by the Elsmere Police Department. Both suspects were lodged in the Kenton County Detention Center.

Angela K. Marcum, 43 of Delphos, OH, is charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Falsely Reporting an Incident, and Operating with an Expired Operators License. Investigators have also confirmed that Angela K. Marcum is the mother of Anthony Arriaga. 

Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, of Louisa, KY, is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, and now has an Out of State Warrant for First Degree Murder.

UPDATE: 4:35 PM 5/25/16

According to the West Virginia State Police, a murder warrant is being obtained for Brandon Fitzpatrick of Louisa, KY. Sergeant Andy Perdue says the suspects involved were dealing drugs. They ran out of money and came to Mingo County to “rob someone.” They came to the cemetery and spotted Hatfield looking like he would have money.

UPDATE: 4:05 PM 5/25/16

West Virginia State Police tell 13 news  Arriaga, Fitzpatrick and Peterson are all friends. 

UPDATE: 3:56 PM 5/25/16

Sergeant Andy Perdue tells 13 News a 911 call showed someone was being held against their will on Dixie Highway Near Cave Run. Perdue adds the caller gave dispatchers a description of the vehicle.

Police officers in Elsmere, Kentucky determined no one had been kidnapped. 

Investigators took two people into custody after they found drugs inside the vehicle.

UPDATE: 11:50 AM 5/25/16

According to the West Virginia State Police, Brandon Fitzpatrick is a person of interest in the Ben Hatfield murder investigation.

Fitzpatrick was arrested for unrelated charges during a traffic stop in Elsmere, Kentucky. Two West Virginia State Police Troopers are heading to Elsmere to interview Fitzpatrick

UPDATE: 3:30 PM 5/24/16

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith says Ricky Dean Peterson has been arrested for giving police false information during the Mingo County Murder Investigation. Smith adds Peterson gave false information about the whereabouts of Anthony Arriaga.


UPDATE: 3:00 PM 5/24/16

According to the Mingo County Sheriff, Arriaga has waved his extradition and will be transported to Mingo County sometime tomorrow. 


UPDATE: 1:00 PM 5/24/16

According to the WVSP, Arriaga told troopers he jumped in the river, then asked someone for a clean pair of clothes and a ride.

A local police department arrested Arriaga in Allen County, Ohio around 2 or 3 this morning. Lima, Ohio is in Allen County and is around 5 hours away from Mingo County

State Police are asking for the public’s help in this case. They are not sure why Arriaga was in the area, and they are asking anyone who saw him to contact WVSP or the Mingo County Sheriff’s Office.

An extradition hearing is scheduled for 2 PM Tuesday afternoon in Allen County, Ohio.


UPDATE: 11:30 AM 5/24/16

According to West Virginia State Police, Arriaga is being charged with first degree murder. 

The WVSP does not believe that Hatfield had ever met Arriaga before.

The investigation is ongoing and they are using K9 units and boats to search for additional evidence.


UPDATE: 9:40 AM 5/24/16

Anthony Arriaga has been arrested for the murder of Ben Hatfield according to West Virginia State Police. Arriaga was arrested in Allen County, Ohio.


UPDATE: 10:36 AM 5/23/16

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith tells 13 News with the information investigators have been able to gather they hope to be able to name a suspect Tuesday morning. Smith adds Hatfield’s Girlfriend reported him missing, when investigators pinged his cell phone it led to his body. Hatfield’s SUV was found at the cemetery.

The West Virginia State Police tells 13 News if anyone saw anything suspicious at the cemetery they are asked to call 304-235-6300


UPDATE: 6:23 PM 5/23/16

Investigators tell 13 News the body found at that cemetery in Mingo County is Ben Hatfield the former CEO of Patriot Coal.


UPDATE: 6:04 PM 5/23/16

Mingo County prosecutor Teresa Maynard tells 13 News this is a homicide investigation.


Original 


Mingo County Dispatchers tell 13 News a body was found at a cemetery in the county. The victim was male and the body was found at Mountain View Memory Gardens.

We have a crew heading to the scene.

We will update this story as more information become available.

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