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Ex-Coal Chief Asks Higher Court to Stay Free Pending Appeal

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former coal company executive is asking an appeals court if he can remain free while appealing a case that dealt him a prison sentence.

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on Tuesday asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let him remain free on $1 million bond, pending appeal. Otherwise, Blankenship's attorneys say he may serve much, or all, of his one-year sentence before a larger appellate decision is reached.

Blankenship was sentenced April 6 to the maximum prison time and fine of $250,000 for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. A jury convicted him Dec. 3.

A coal mine exploded there in 2010, killing 29 men.

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