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Former Massey Energy executive headed to court

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 10 2013 06:50:11 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 10 2013 08:37:25 AM CDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. -

A former Massey Energy executive cooperating in the investigation of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster faces two judges in Beckley.          

David Hughart has a bond-revocation hearing Tuesday, following his recent arrest on drug charges.          

Then U.S. District Judge Irene Berger will sentence him on federal conspiracy charges that could carry up to six years in prison.          

Hughart admitted conspiring with others to give miners at Massey subsidiary White Buck Coal illegal advance warning about surprise inspections. He was fired in March 2010 after failing a random drug test.          

Hughart never worked at Upper Big Branch, where 29 miners died in an April 2010 explosion, but he implicated former Massey CEO Don Blankenship in the advance-warning scheme.          

Massey is now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.          

Blankenship denies any wrongdoing.