Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blankenship will seek change of venue

Attorneys for former Massey Energy President and CEO Don Blankenship told a federal judge Wednesday they plan to seek a change of venue.
Blankenship is scheduled to go on trial next month on charges that he committed fraud by the way he operated the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County in the months before the 2010 explosion there that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners.
His attorneys said they want U.S. District Judge Irene Berger to delay the trial and they plan to ask her to move it out of southern West Virginia. Judge Berger granted a motion Wednesday that will extend the deadline for filing motions in the case.
The trial is currently scheduled for Jan. 26.
Berger did not make a decision Wednesday on a motion from several media outlets calling for her to reverse her gag order in the case.

Blankenship, 64, appeared in person at Wednesday’s hearing.