The Latest: Closing arguments presented in ex-coal CEO trial

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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 1:25 PM
The Latest: Closing arguments presented in ex-coal CEO trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The latest in the federal criminal trial of ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on charges of violating mine safety laws. All times are local:

1:15 p.m.

Defense attorneys for ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship say prosecutors have presented no evidence he was involved in a conspiracy.

In closing arguments Tuesday in Blankenship's criminal trial, defense attorney William Taylor said lead government witness Christopher Blanchard is "one big reasonable doubt." Blanchard ran the Massey subsidiary in charge of the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia.

An explosion there killed 29 men in 2010.

Blankenship is accused of putting profits ahead of safety.

During defense questioning, Blanchard said he did not break any laws or conspire with Blankenship.

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Noon:

A federal prosecutor has told jurors that ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was the kingpin of a massive conspiracy and had a "band of yes men" at the company.

In closing arguments Tuesday in Blankenship's criminal trial in West Virginia, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said the former executive tried "to violate nearly every law on mine safety in the book."

Blankenship is accused of putting profits ahead of safety in the years before an explosion killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia in 2010.

He could face up to 30 years in prison on charges of conspiring to break mine safety laws at Upper Big Branch and lying to financial regulators and investors about company safety.