Investigators seek motive in slaying of ex-coal executive

A West Virginia sheriff says investigators are trying to determine a motive in the fatal shooting of a former coal company executive at a cemetery where the businessman’s wife is buried.

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith said on Wednesday that authorities still don’t know of any connection between the suspect, 20-year-old Anthony R. Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, and Bennett K. Hatfield, the 59-year-old former president and CEO of Patriot Coal.

Authorities said Arriaga shot Hatfield on Monday at Mountain View Memory Gardens, a cemetery in southern West Virginia. Arriaga was later arrested in Ohio.

Arriaga waived his right to an extradition hearing Tuesday. Records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

Smith says West Virginia authorities will transport Arriaga back to face charges, but he’s not sure when that will take place.

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