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U.S. District Judge Irene Berger ruled on the request Monday in Beckley.

Hughie Elbert Stover’s sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Stover was convicted of lying to investigators and ordering a subordinate to destroy thousands of documents after the 2010 disaster that killed 29 men in southern West Virginia.

Stover’s attorney says his client deserves no prison time.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin plans to call witnesses Wednesday, including Mine Safety and Health Administration coal administrator Kevin Stricklin, along with others who will testify about Stover’s Army background and as a police officer.


Judge denies monsignor’s request to drop case

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child-endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the now-deceased Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 - a decade before the sex-abuse scandal exploded.

Father Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child-endangerment and conspiracy charges he’s facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if it had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina refused Monday to drop the case against Father Lynn. Prosecutors had blasted the last-minute defense filing Friday.

The first potential jurors were being questioned Monday. Testimony is set to start March 26.


Report: Safety device disabled on elevator

NEW YORK — Investigators say an important elevator safety mechanism was turned off when an advertising executive was crushed to death at a Manhattan office building.

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