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Ex-superintendent to enter plea to criminal charge in deadly West Virginia mine explosion
BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) ' A former mine superintendent, who's the highest-ranking official charged in the deadly explosion at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine, will enter a plea next week.
Gary May will appear before U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley, W.Va., on March 22.
May has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government and is apparently cooperating with prosecutors in a continuing criminal investigation of the 2010 blast that killed 29 men. The explosion at the former Massey Energy mine was the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in four decades.
Last week, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin asked Berger to schedule a hearing.
May is accused, among other things, of disabling a methane gas monitor, falsifying safety records and using code words to tip off miners underground about surprise inspections.