Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Judge denies Blankenship’s request for Vegas trip

Former Massey energy CEO Don Blankenship was denied in his request to travel home to Nevada for Memorial Day on Tuesday.
Blankenship’s lawyers filed that he had personal matters to attend to, to meet with a dentist, and to meet with attorneys there. U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervort rejected his request.
Blankenship is free on $5 million bond right now before his trial, which is scheduled to begin July 13, but his travel is restricted. He is facing mine safety and security charges relating to the deaths of 29 miners at Upper Big Branch mine in an April 2010 explosion.
Except to meet with lawyers, he is not supposed to leave Southern West Virginia. Blankenship never mentioned Las Vegas specifically in his request, but Blankenship was allowed to go to Nevada last Thanksgiving and Christmas, despite objections from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Prosecutors objected to this request as well, saying that Blankenship does not own a home there. VanDervort said Tuesday that he rarely permits travel on bond beyond emergencies or trips for “a short period of time.”