Monday, November 9, 2015

Financial expert testifies in ex-coal CEO's criminal trial

(AP) — An expert witness for the government has testified about Massey Energy's stock at the trial of former company CEO Don Blankenship.

Financial expert Frank Torchio was questioned by prosecutors and defense attorneys in federal court Monday in Charleston. He discussed his study of how Massey stock was affected by the company's public statements and news coverage following a deadly mine explosion.

Torchio is the federal government's 26th witness in Blankenship's trial.

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

The government is focusing on a Massey press release after the explosion that said the company didn't condone safety violations.

The trial has entered its seventh week.