WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) – A prosecutor says two suspects in the killing of former coal executive Bennett Hatfield were plotting to steal his vehicle.
Authorities say Hatfield was visiting his wife’s gravesite at the Mountain View Memory Gardens in southern West Virginia when he was fatally shot. His body was found at the cemetery Monday. His SUV was found nearby.
Mingo County Prosecutor Teresa Maynard says 20-year-old Anthony Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, and 18-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick of Louisa, Kentucky, wanted to hijack a car.
According to Maynard, the two saw Hatfield’s vehicle and Fitzpatrick dropped off Arriaga. She says Fitzpatrick was going to get Hatfield’s vehicle. But after Hatfield was shot, Fitzpatrick disappeared and left Hatfield’s vehicle behind. Authorities believe Arriaga was the shooter.
Arriaga and Fitzpatrick are charged with first-degree murder. Fitzpatrick also is charged with conspiracy.