BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - The former head of security at a West
Virginia mine has been convicted of impeding the investigation into
a 2010 explosion that killed 29 men.
A federal jury in Beckley found 60-year-old Hughie Elbert Stover
guilty Wednesday of lying to investigators and disposing of
thousands of security-related documents following the explosion. He
was the first person criminally prosecuted in the worst U.S. coal
mining disaster in decades.
The jury began deliberating Wednesday morning after hearing two
days of testimony in which prosecutors painted Stover as an
obstructionist and defense attorneys claimed he was a scapegoat.
The jury was told that investigators retrieved boxes of security
documents that Stover ordered dumped into the trash. Stover
testified that he did not know he was committing a crime when he
ordered the documents be thrown out.