Second person arrested in Ben Hatfield murder

Staff Reports

Ricky Peterson

WAYNE — A second person has been charged in connection with the murder of coal executive Ben Hatfield, which occurred at a graveyard in Mingo County on Sunday afternoon.

Ricky Dean Peterson, 20, of Wayne is charged with accessory after the fact, obstructing/resisting an officer and providing false information to a trooper in connection with the murder, according to a criminal complaint filed in Wayne County Magistrate Court.

This is the second arrest in the shooting death of Hatfield, who was found shot to death about 6:30 a.m. Monday in a Mingo County cemetery. Hatfield is a Mingo County native and was an executive with several large coal companies over the past 30 years.

Anthony R. Arriaga, 20, of Gibsanburg, Ohio, who was arrested in Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death.

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith said a man who was driving by the cemetery saw Arriaga clad only in his underwear and the man said he agreed to drive him to Wayne County. The man called State Police who were later able to track down Arriaga in Ohio, where he was arrested. Arriaga waived his extradition in a hearing in Ohio Tuesday afternoon. His bond was set at $1 million.

The criminal complaint filed against Peterson said a trooper at about 9 p.m. Monday traveled to a residence on Sanson Avenue in Wayne. The trooper said he believed the suspect in the murder had gone to the residence to speak with Peterson.

Peterson told the trooper he had no knowledge of the murder nor the suspect, the complaint said. The trooper said he contacted two other people at the residence who said the murder suspect had been there and spoke with Peterson.

While he was at the home, the trooper said, Peterson repeatedly disobeyed requests to remain still and silent and not to open kitchen drawers or cabinets. The trooper said while he was transporting Peterson to the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, Peterson said he would give the trooper “valuable information pertaining to the murder investigation and suspect” if the trooper would take him back home, the complaint said.

Peterson is currently being held in the Western Regional Jail.

(WCHS-WVAH TV, the Williamson Daily News partner contributed to this article.)

Ricky Peterson Peterson

Staff Reports

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