LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two officials at an eastern Kentucky mine where a coal miner was killed last year knowingly violated federal safety laws, according to proposed plea agreements filed in federal court.
Jefferson Davis and Joseph Miniard are planning to plead guilty and could possibly be sent to prison when they are sentenced March 6 in U.S. District Court in London.
The men were supervisors at Manalapan Mining's P-1 Mine in Harlan County during a June 2011 underground collapse that killed miner David Partin.
Miniard, the mine's superintendent, will plead guilty to a charge that he signed a pre-shift report that failed to include an existing hazardous condition in the mine. The mining equipment did not have canopies to protect equipment operators, court records said.
The charge carries a maximum of five years in prison and up to three years of supervised released.
Partin, 49, died when a large section of rock from the mine's wall fell on him, knocking him into a dolly, according to a report from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. Investigators say the mine's continuous haulage system backed up, causing the dolly to move, which dragged Partin from beneath the rock.