By Bill Archer
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BECKLEY — Donald L. Blankenship, former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Massey Energy Co., is scheduled to be in court next week for his initial appearance/arraignment of criminal charges related to his involvement in the conditions at the Upper Big Branch-South Mine that led to the April 5, 2010 explosion that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners.
Blankenship is scheduled to appear at U.S. District Court in Beckley at 1 p.m., on Nov. 20, before U.S. Magistrate R. Clarke VanDervort, according to an entry on the court calendar.
Blankenship, 64, was named in a four-count federal indictment that he conspired to violate mandatory mine safety laws, conspired to defraud the government and made false statements to the government after the explosion.