Jurors to hear closing arguments soon in ex-coal CEO trial

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Closing arguments could come soon in the criminal trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who's accused of putting profits ahead of safety in the years before a deadly coal mine explosion.

The executive's attorneys rested their case Monday without calling a single witness on his behalf. Judge Irene Berger hasn't said exactly when closing arguments will occur. But the impending finish comes after the prosecution slogged through weeks of witness testimony and defense questioning.

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

The trial, which began Oct. 1, featured testimony from Massey management and miners, expert witnesses, federal regulators, and more.