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Federal Appeals Court Affirms Conviction of Don Blankenship

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A federal appeals court has affirmed the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship in connection with the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the opinion today, saying it found no reversible errors in trial rulings.

Blankenship’s attorneys had argued that jury instructions made it too easy to conclude that he willfully violated safety rules at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine before the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men.

He was convicted in 2015 of a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to willfully violate safety standards and sentenced to one year in prison.

Blankenship reported to a California federal prison may 12th to begin serving the sentence.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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