A federal appeals court on Thursday let stand former Massey Energy Co Chief Executive Donald Blankenship’s conviction for conspiracy and one-year prison sentence related to his role in a 2010 West Virginia coal mine explosion that killed 29 workers.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Blankenship’s argument that his conviction should be overturned because the trial judge made several errors, and because prosecutors did not properly allege the specific mine safety regulations he allegedly conspired to violate.
A lawyer for Blankenship did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Blankenship was convicted in December 2015 on a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate federal safety standards in connection with Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine, site of the April 5, 2010 explosion. He was acquitted on related felony charges.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry)