Ex-coal CEO seeks W.Va. mine blast trial delay

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — The former head of a coal company that ran the West Virginia mine where 29 men were killed in a 2010 explosion wants his criminal case moved and his trial delayed for a year.

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine.

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Blankenship’s attorney said at a hearing Wednesday that his client couldn’t get a fair trial in southern West Virginia because of bad publicity.

Also, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger heard news organizations, including The Associated Press, argue against a gag order, which they want dropped or modified.

The order restricts parties or victims from discussing the case with reporters or releasing court documents.

 

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