Ex-Massey CEO Blankenship claims trial documents withheld

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — Convicted former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship claims documents that would have assisted his defense weren’t made available to his attorneys before his trial and he’s asking a federal court to vacate his misdemeanor conviction.

Blankenship made the claim in a news release through his U.S. Senate campaign to announce a planned motion to vacate the conviction. No motion was listed on a federal court website Tuesday night.

The statement claims that among the withheld information were federal Mine Safety And Health Administration documents. The campaign’s statement didn’t include the documents.

Blankenship served a one-year prison term on a misdemeanor conviction stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men in southern West Virginia. Blankenship has long maintained he didn’t get a fair trial.

Deanna Eder, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston, declined comment Tuesday night.

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