Jurors return to deliberate in ex-coal CEO Blankenship trial over mine where blast happened

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jurors are returning to deliberate in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

After a weekend off, the jury is slated for its fourth full day of deliberations Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, West Virginia. They won’t deliberate Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of Thanksgiving.

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

Prosecutors contended that Blankenship was a micromanager who meddled in the smallest details at the mine, and cared more about money than safety.

Blankenship’s defence team said the government offered no evidence he was involved in a conspiracy.

Deliberations began the evening of Nov. 17.