The Latest: Jury recesses without verdict ex-coal CEO trial

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2015 5:16 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The latest in the federal trial of Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy. All times local:

5 p.m.

Jurors have ended another day of deliberations without a verdict in ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's trial.

The jury ended its seventh full day of deliberations without a decision Tuesday. They will return Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the day, jurors said they were deadlocked, but the judge told them they could reach a partial verdict in the case.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break safety laws and defrauding mine regulators at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine, and lying to financial regulators and investors about safety. The mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Prosecutors contended that Blankenship was a micromanager who meddled in the smallest details at the mine and cared more about money than safety.

Blankenship's defense team said the government offered no evidence he was involved in a conspiracy.

Blankenship's trial began Oct. 1. Deliberations began the evening of Nov. 17.

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Noon:

The jury in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship says it is deadlocked, but the judge responded with instructions that jurors could reach a partial verdict in the case.

Jurors sent U.S. District Judge Irene Berger a note Tuesday morning saying they are still deadlocked, and asking her for any further instructions.

Berger again denied defense attorneys' motion for a mistrial because of a hung jury.

Instead, she told jurors that they should remain open-minded in their deliberations, and that the majority should consider minority views and vice versa.

She also said the jury can return a partial verdict if it can't agree on a specific count. Blankenship is charged with three counts.

Jurors will return to deliberations after lunch.

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9 a.m.

Jurors have begun their seventh full day of deliberations in the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

The jury resumed deliberations Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, West Virginia.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break safety laws and defrauding mine regulators at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine and lying to financial regulators and investors about safety. The coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Prosecutors contended that Blankenship was a micromanager who meddled in the smallest details at the mine and cared more about money than safety.

Blankenship's defense team said the government offered no evidence he was involved in a conspiracy.

Deliberations began the evening of Nov. 17, but were suspended several days for Thanksgiving. His trial began Oct. 1.