Associated Press Published

Prosecutors: Former Coal Chief to Head to Prison May 12


Prosecutors say former coal company executive Don Blankenship has to head to prison on May 12, pending an appeal.

Prosecutors mentioned the ex-Massey Energy CEO’s date to surrender to federal custody in a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals filing on Wednesday.

Blankenship was sentenced April 6 to the maximum penalties of a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. A jury convicted him Dec. 3.

The coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Blankenship is appealing. He’s also asking the higher court to stay free on his $1million bond while his appeal continues. Otherwise, Blankenship’s attorneys say he may serve much, or all, of his sentence before a decision is reached.