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Opening Statements to Begin in Blankenship Trial

Blankenship Trial
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Associated Press

A jury has been seated in the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.  Twelve jurors and three alternates have been selected to hear the case against Blankenship who is charged with violating federal coal mine safety laws and lying to investors about the company's safety record.

Opening statements by federal prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to begin at 10:20 Wednesday morning.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards and lying to investors about the safety record of his company. The charges stem from an investigation into the April 2010 explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died.

If convicted, the 65 year old Blankenship faces three decades in prison. 

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