MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A former superintendent at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine wants a judge to sentence him to home confinement or reduce his prison time when he pleads to a federal conspiracy charge next week.
Gary May is cooperating in the continuing criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men.
He's set to enter a plea Jan. 17 in Beckley on charges that his actions at the mine defrauded the federal government.
Defense attorney Tim Carrico says May is "deeply sorry" about the deaths but argues there's no direct link between May's conduct and the explosion.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby is pushing for more than the 15- to 21-month sentence that federal guidelines recommend. He says they don't account for the risk May's actions created to miners' lives