Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ex-prosecutor: ex-coal chief will serve full year in prison

(AP) — The former prosecutor against ex-coal company chief Don Blankenship expects him to serve his full, one-year sentence in a minimum-security federal prison.

Former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin made the comments Thursday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ruby confirmed that time off for good behavior applies only to terms more than a year.

On Wednesday, Blankenship was sentenced to the maximum penalties of a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine.

The southern West Virginia coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

A jury convicted him of the misdemeanor on Dec. 3.

Judge Irene Berger declined to let Blankenship stay free on a $1 million bond while he appeals the case.

Goodwin left office after Blankenship's conviction to run for governor.