Ashton Marra Published

Blankenship on Trial: Guilty of Conspiracy


Jurors returned a split verdict Thursday in the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship finding him guilty on a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws. 

In the final episode of the podcast “Blankenship on Trial,” host Scott Finn discusses the verdict, its implications and what comes next with West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Ashton Marra and Charleston attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hissam.

The misdemeanor count could mean up to one year of jail time for the former coal executive. 

Blankenship was also found not guilty on two felony counts, the first for lying to investors, the second for lying to federal securities officials about Massey’s safety record following the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 men and sparked the investigation into Massey and later its CEO.

The two felony charges held a combined max sentence of 25 yeas, much more than what Blankenship is facing.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 23.