Ex-se­cu­rity chief gets 3 years in mine blast

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stole the gun he used from his un­cle.

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial fa­mil­iar with the case says the weapon was bought legally in Au­gust 2010 from a gun shop in Men­tor, Ohio. The of­fi­cial says the gun was a Ruger .22-cal­iber Mark III tar­get pis­tol.

The of­fi­cial spoke to the As­so­ci­ated Press on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Seven­teen-year-old T.J. Lane is sus­pected of open­ing fire in the cafe­te­ria at Chardon High School on

BECK­LEY | A for­mer se­cu­rity chief con­victed of ly­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors about the April 2010 ex­plo­sion that killed 29 men at a south­ern West Virginia coal mine was sen­tenced to three years in prison Wed­nes­day.

Hughie El­bert Stover was con­victed of ly­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors and or­der­ing a sub­or­di­nate to de­stroy thou­sands of se­cu­rity-re­lated doc­u­ments at the Up­per Big Branch mine fol­low­ing the worst U.S. coal mine dis­as­ter in four decades.

U.S. At­tor­ney Booth Good­win had sought a 25-year sen­tence, hop­ing to send a re­sound­ing mes­sage about Stover’s crimes fol­low­ing the ex­plo­sion.

Fed­eral sen­tenc­ing guide­lines called for a to­tal sen­tence of about three years for both crimes. Judges do not have to fol­low the guide­lines.

Wit­nesses tes­ti­fied that Stover in­structed mine guards to send out ra­dio alerts when­ever in­spec­tors en­tered the prop­erty, which is il­le­gal. Stover de­nied the claims in a Novem­ber 2010 in­ter­view with in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

The sec­ond count al­leged Stover sought to de­stroy doc­u­ments in Jan­uary 2011 by or­der­ing a sub­or­di­nate to bag them and then throw them into an on-site trash com­pactor, which is also il­le­gal. Massey En­ergy, which owned the mine at the time, re­peat­edly warned em­ploy­ees to keep all records while the dis­as­ter re­mained un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Com­pany of­fi­cials told in­ves­ti­ga­tors of the trashed doc­u­ments, which were re­cov­ered.

De­fense at­tor­ney Wil­liam D. Wil­moth said Stover’s ac­tions were in­no­cent mis­takes and he de­served no jail time.

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