Hughart's cooperation has been valuable, Ruby said, and it's possible it will eventually warrant a request for leniency. But he said it's too soon to determine that now.
Hughart was president of "an important Massey subsidiary." Ruby said. "He enjoyed vast discretion over the mines and facilities that were under his direction, and he used it to flout the law on miners' health and safety."
Whitt says his client now sees the error of his ways and understands that he was wrongly informed that the company had the legal right to warn workers when inspections were imminent.
"David has come to know that mine safety laws are not suggestions," Whitt wrote. "... Prison can do nothing to reinforce this fact."
Hughart, he said, "deeply regrets his criminal conduct and that such conduct was part of 'business as usual' under former Massey management."
A former Upper Big Branch superintendent and security chief are already behind bars for similar actions at that mine.