Associated Press Published

Blankenship Wants Case Moved


A former Massey Energy CEO wants his criminal case moved and Jan. 26 trial delayed one year.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger heard requests Wednesday in Beckley in Don Blankenship’s case.

Blankenship’s attorney said he couldn’t get a fair trial in southern West Virginia because of bad publicity.

Also Wednesday, Berger heard news organizations argue against a gag order, which they want dropped or modified.

The order restricts parties or victims from discussing the case with reporters or releasing court documents.

The Associated Press, The Charleston Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting are involved.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine. A 2010 explosion there killed 29 men.