Former Massey Energy Chairman Don Blankenship on March 24 pleaded not guilty to a “superseding” indictment that added more federal charges over an explosion that killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in 2010.
Blankenship is accused of knowingly violating federal mine safety laws, leading to the explosion. He retired from Massey at the end of 2010, before Massey was taken over in June 2011 by Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR).
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has set an April 20 trial date on these charges, with the trial in the Beckley courthouse to be handled by Judge Irene Berger. The arraignment judge on March 24 ordered that his $5 million bond be continued.