November 20, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
The federal judge presiding over the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship ordered the jury to keep deliberating Nov. 19, after they sent him a note that they were deadlocked.
Blankenship is charged with flouting safety regulations at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 men were killed in an explosion in 2010. Prosecutors argued that Massey’s management policy was to deliberately ignore safety regulations, because it was cheaper just to pay fines for violations.
The defense, which rested earlier this week without calling any witnesses, argued that the violations didn’t prove Massey did anything illegal. U.S. District Judge Irene Berger told the jurors that they should keep trying to reach a verdict, because the trial had taken more than six weeks. Read more