Associated Press Published

Trial Delayed for Execs in W.Va. Chemical Spill


A judge is rescheduling the trial for former executives facing charges for a massive chemical spill last year.

In U.S. District Court in Charleston on Wednesday, Judge Thomas Johnston moved back the trial for Freedom Industries officials to Oct. 6. The trial had been scheduled for March 10.

The change would likely only apply to ex-Freedom presidents Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell. Also Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked the court to schedule plea hearings for the company, Charles Herzing, William Tis and two lower-level employees.

The four men and Freedom itself are expected to plead guilty. All are charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act.

In addition, Southern faces fraud charges related to Freedom’s bankruptcy.

The January 2014 spill in Charleston contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days.