Case arising from W.Va. mine disaster wrapping up

October 26, 2011 - 3:05 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal jury should soon start deliberating criminal charges against the former security chief at the West Virginia coal mine where 29 miners were killed in an explosion.

Closing arguments are expected Wednesday in the case of Hughie Elbert Stover. Federal prosecutors allege he lied to investigators and tried to destroy documents following the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine.

Jurors heard testimony alleging the 60-year-old Stover lied about radioing tip-offs when inspectors were entering the Raleigh County mine. Such warnings are illegal.

The U.S. District Court jury was also told that investigators retrieved boxes of security-related documents that Stover allegedly ordered dumped into the trash.

Stover testified Tuesday. His defense argues he's been made a scapegoat following the country's worst coal mine disaster in decades.