Ex-CEO Found Guilty Of Conspiracy In Deadly 2010 West Virginia Mine Blast

AP

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A jury has found ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship guilty on one of three counts connected to a deadly coal mine explosion.

Blankenship was convicted Thursday on a conspiracy count but acquitted of making false statements and securities fraud.

A 12-member jury returned the verdict for the former coal industry executive in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Blankenship was tried on charges of 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 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.

His multimillion-dollar defense team said the government had no evidence Blankenship was involved in a conspiracy.

Blankenship was indicted in November 2014 and his trial began Oct. 1.

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