By Jeffrey Morris
CHARLESTON — An emergency motion filed by former Massey Energy Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship’s attorneys seeking to keep him out of prison pending his appeal says the Bureau of Prisons directed him to report on Thursday to begin serving his 12-month sentence in California.
The motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit does not reveal the specific prison.
Previously, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District would not comment on where Blankenship would serve his prison sentence. Under the Bureau of Prison’s policy, designations are not released until a person serving a sentence arrives at his or her destination.
Blankenship was sentenced April 6 to the maximum prison time and fine of $250,000 for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. A jury convicted him Dec. 3. A coal mine exploded there in 2010, killing 29 men.
“In view of Mr. Blankenship’s prison surrender date – the day after tomorrow – a stay is appropriate here,” Blankenship’s attorneys said in the motion. “Unless the court will resolve the pending motion for release tomorrow, an administrative stay is needed to provide the court with time to rule on the motion, and if the court grants, the motion, to preserve the court’s ability to provide relief.”