Coal exec Hatfield found dead in Mingo cemetery

Coal exec Hatfield found dead in Mingo cemetery

Coal industry executive Ben Hatfield was found dead in a Mingo County cemetery Monday.

Bennett K. “Ben” Hatfield, an engineer and longtime coal company executive who worked for Massey Energy and Arch Coal, was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Mingo County cemetery Monday, according to Mingo Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard.

Maynard said Hatfield’s death is being investigated as a homicide.

Mingo Sheriff James Smith told MetroNews that Hatfield’s body was found at about 6:30 a.m. Monday over a hill at Mountain View Memory Gardens, in Maher, outside Williamson.

Hatfield’s wife, Debbie, who died in 2009, is buried at that cemetery, according to her obituary. The couple had been married 25 years when she lost her battle with breast cancer.

Hatfield was CEO of International Coal Group in 2006, when that company’s Sago Mine, in Upshur County, blew up, killing 12 miners.

Later, he was chief executive officer of Patriot Coal, amid that company’s first of two Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.

Last year, he joined the board of directors of St. Louis-based Foresight Energy, which has operations in the Illinois basin and was founded by West Virginia native and billionaire coal operator Chris Cline.

His twin brother, Dennis Hatfield, also is a longtime official with various coal operations, including Massey.

The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department is investigating, with assistance from the West Virginia State Police. Smith did not return calls for comment.

Funerals for Monday, October 14, 2019

Chapman, Donald - 11 a.m., White Funeral Home, Summersville.

Faucett III, Jehugh - 1 p.m., Grace Bible Church, Charleston.

Gilmore, Debora - 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Glover, Carrie - Noon, Preston Funeral Home, Charleston.

Holstein, Ronnie - 11 a.m., Pineview Cemetery, Orgas.

Hornbeck, Jo Ellen - 2 p.m., Bartlett-Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Keller II, George - 1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary.

Lacy, Angie - 1 p.m., Fidler & Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

Myers, Angela - Noon, Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Painter, Dorothy - 1 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Park, Emily - 11 a.m., Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg.

Stone, Karen - 7 p.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Sweet, Ufa - 11 a.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

Tomblin, Vonnie - 1 p.m., Mountaineer Missionary Baptist Church, Harts.

Williams, Raymond - 1 p.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.