Stover Demands New Trial in West Virginia Mine Blast Case

By VICKI SMITH | May 25, 2012

A former security chief convicted of lying to investigators about the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch mine says he deserves a new trial.

Hughie Elbert Stover filed his appeal Monday with the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

Stover says it’s not based on the weight of the government’s evidence but a total lack of evidence.

He was convicted last fall of lying to investigators and ordering a subordinate to destroy documents after the disaster.

But attorney William Wilmoth says there’s no proof that Stover lied or that he ever intended to impede the government’s investigation. He also says that prosecutors falsely portrayed the evidence they had.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has said that Stover was convicted fairly, in every respect.

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