A former Massey energy official is asking for leniency when he is sentenced in early August.

Defense attorneys say David Hughart's life has been ruined because he's been unfairly linked to the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men.
Hughart pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, admitting he helped give miners at another Massey subsidiary advance warning about surprise inspections.

At his plea hearing in February, Hughart implicated former chief executive Don Blankenship in the scheme. Hughart faces up to six years in prison when he is sentenced.

Massey is now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.