Ex-Security Chief At Upper Big Branch Mine, Hughie Elbert Stover, Loses Federal Appeal
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the conviction of an ex-security chief who lied to investigators and ordered a subordinate to destroy documents after the 2010 explosion that killed 29 coal miners at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine.
Hughie Elbert Stover claimed there was no evidence he knowingly lied when he told investigators that miners were not alerted whenever inspectors arrived, but a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., disagreed.
"Substantial evidence supports the jury's conclusion that Stover acted with the required criminal intent when he ordered a subordinate to destroy records in January 2011," the appellate panel wrote.