Monday, November 16, 2015

The latest in the federal trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

(AP) — The defense in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has rested its case without calling a single witness.

Blankenship's lead attorney Bill Taylor stood before the court Monday morning and said "The defense rests," shortly after the prosecution closed its case. The announcements came after jurors heard testimony from 27 witnesses over roughly five weeks.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger dismissed the jury until 9 a.m. Tuesday. She told the lawyers to report back to court Monday afternoon to discuss instructions to the jury.

Prosecutors asserted that the former coal company executive put dollars ahead of human safety in the years before the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in decades.

Prosecutors call Blankenship a micromanager who cared more about money than safety. His attorneys, meanwhile, used testimony from multiple prosecution witnesses to support his defense.