Eight former employees of two western Kentucky coal mines plead not guilty to cheating on safety monitoring and test results.
Those federally required tests are meant to identify dangerous air quality and to reduce the risk of miners getting black lung disease.
Steven Demoss, Billie Hearld, Brian Keith Casebier, Charley Barber, Ron Ivey, John Scott, Dwight Fulkerson and Jeremy Hackney were all present for the arraignment Thursday and stood to address Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl.
A superintendent, a safety director and section foreman at Armstrong’s Parkway Mine and a safety director at the company’s Kronos mine are charged in this case.
Several inspections were conducted at Armstrong Coal Mines in Kentucky between 2014 and 2017. Records show the two Armstrong mines were cited for ventilation system problems and had more violations than other mines of the same size.
Judge Brennenstuhl issued a $25,000 unsecured bond with the condition the defendants could not communicate with other co-defendants or witnesses.
The trial is set for October 3rd in Owensboro.