Ashton Marra Published

Blankenship on Trial: Defense Plays Offense, Calls No Witnesses


Defense attorneys chose to rest their case Monday morning without calling a single witness to aid in their defense of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

In a special edition of the podcast “Blankenship on Trial,” host Scott Finn discusses the surprising turn of events with reporter Ashton Marra and Charleston attorney Mike Hissam. 

After putting on nearly 30 witnesses and entering more than 450 pieces of evidence, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s Office rested its case Monday morning. That move was followed by a short bench conference during which Federal District Judge Irene Berger spoke directly with Blankenship. 

After returning to their seats, lead defense attorney Bill Taylor stood and announced the defense would rest, even as their first prospective witness sat outside the courtroom. 

Closing arguments are likely to begin Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. which means the case could go to the jury as soon as Tuesday afternoon.