Stover appealing conviction in W.Va. mine blast

By the Associated Press | March 14, 2012 | 9:25 AM EDT

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A former security chief found guilty of lying to investigators about the 2010 explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners is appealing his conviction.

An attorney for Hughie Elbert Stover says he's taking the case to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

A filing in U.S. District Court in Beckley says Judge Irene Berger wrongly denied a request for certain instructions to the jury, as well as Stover's request for a new trial. That motion also alleged prosecutorial misconduct.

Stover was convicted in October of ordering a subordinate to destroy security-related documents following the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in four decades.

He was sentenced to three years in prison Feb. 29. It's one of the stiffest punishments ever issued in a mine safety case.