News

Jurors return to deliberate in ex-coal CEO Blankenship trial over mine where blast happened

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jurors have begun their seventh full day of deliberations in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

The jury resumed deliberations Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, West Virginia.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break safety laws and defrauding mine regulators at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine and lying to financial regulators and investors about safety. The coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Prosecutors contended that Blankenship was a micromanager who meddled in the smallest details at the mine and cared more about money than safety.

Blankenship’s defence team said the government offered no evidence he was involved in a conspiracy.

Deliberations began the evening of Nov. 17, but were suspended several days for Thanksgiving. His trial began Oct. 1.