Ex-West Virginia coal boss Blankenship returns to court Tuesday

Associated Press

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is heading back to court in his criminal case. (Copyright, Associated Press)

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is heading back to court in his criminal case.

On Tuesday, Blankenship has an arraignment hearing in U.S. District Court in Beckley. The hearing is based on a new, superseding indictment handed up earlier this month.

Blankenship pleaded not guilty during his first arraignment in November.

He is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards, falsifying coal dust samples and defrauding federal financial regulators related to Upper Big Branch Mine. A blast at the southern West Virginia mine killed 29 men in 2010. It was the deadliest U.S. coal mine accident in four decades.

Blankenship could face up to three decades in prison, if convicted.

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