Associated Press Published

Blankenship, Prosecutors Both Try to Exclude Evidence

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s lawyers say his compensation and stock holdings, along with other evidence, should be excluded from his trial.

Blankenship’s lawyers argue in a Tuesday motion that evidence of his finances is irrelevant and would unfairly prejudice him. The motion was one of 16 defense filings seeking to exclude evidence.

Federal prosecutors also are seeking to exclude evidence, including what they say are Blankenship’s claims that company mines were safe despite routine violations of federal safety standards. They filed one motion on Tuesday, which was the deadline for such filings.

Blankenship is scheduled to stand trial in October on charges he conspired to violate mine safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. An explosion at the mine in 2010 killed 29 men.