BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A judge has delayed the trial of a former West Virginia coal baron facing criminal charges in connection with a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men.
A docket entry Monday in U.S. District Court in Beckley shows that Judge Irene Berger rescheduled the trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship until April 20. It was slated for Jan. 26.
A pretrial hearing originally scheduled for Tuesday will be held March 3.
In a previous hearing, Blankenship's attorneys said the trial should be delayed a year. Federal prosecutors opposed a lengthy delay.
Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where a 2010 explosion killed 29 men.
Blankenship's attorneys have also said they want the case moved out of southern West Virginia, which prosecutors oppose.