Judge denies attempts by ex-coal CEO to dismiss charges

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) – A judge has denied a variety of motions by ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to get charges dropped in his criminal case.

In Beckley federal court Wednesday, Judge Irene Berger rejected nine of Blankenship’s motions to dismiss.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010.

Blankenship’s attorneys had contended that the government didn’t show specific intent, didn’t show Blankenship knew about or agreed to commit safety violations, and other arguments.

In her orders, Berger wrote multiple times that the indictment makes clear allegations.

Blankenship’s trial is slated for a July 13 start. He wants the date pushed back, and prosecutors oppose that delay.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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