Ashton Marra Published

Blankenship Files for Sentencing Delay

Don Blankenship

Attorneys for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship are asking a federal judge to either delay his April sentencing or put off deciding the amount of a federal fine. 

In December, Blankenship was found guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws linked to a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men.  Blankenship could face up to a year in prison for the charge. 

His sentencing is scheduled for April 6.

In a court filing Tuesday, Blankenship asked Federal District Judge Irene Berger to delay the sentencing or prevent federal prosecutors from discussing a possible monetary penalty in the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking $28 million from Blankenship to repay Alpha Natural Resources for legal fees and restitution for mine safety penalties. Alpha bought Massey Energy in 2011—more than a year after the federal investigation into the mine explosion began.

Blankenship was also charged with two counts of lying to investors and the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission about Massey’s safety record following the explosion.

After more than a week of deliberations, jurors found the former CEO not guilty on the felony counts which would have carried larger prison terms.