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3 supervisors fined for violations in Harlan County mine where miner died

A federal judge on Wednesday fined three former Harlan County coal mine supervisors who had pleaded guilty to safety violations.

The men and their fines were: Joseph Miniard, 54, of Smith, $3,000; Jefferson Davis, 47, Harlan, $5,000; and Bryant Massingale, 53, Cawood, $3,000, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove also placed each man on probation for three years, with a period of home confinement for Miniard and Massingale, according to the release.

The three were supervisors at the Manalapan Mining Co.'s P-1 underground mine, where miner David Partin, 49, of Pineville, was killed in June 2011 when the mine wall collapsed on him.

A federal grand jury charged that Manalapan and the three supervisors violated a number of safety standards in the weeks before Partin was killed.

Miners were required to work in areas of the mine where the roof was not properly supported, supervisors signed reports that did not identify hazards as required, according to the charges.

Van Tatenhove scheduled a separate hearing on a potential fine for Manalapan.

The company is on the verge of bankruptcy and could afford nothing more than a nominal fine, its attorney said in a motion.

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