- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - The start of ex-coal baron Don Blankenship’s criminal trial has been bumped back to July.

In Beckley federal court Thursday, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger moved the ex-Massey Energy CEO’s April 20 trial date to July 13.

Blankenship was charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine after a blast killed 29 men in 2010. It was the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

Berger is still considering whether the case needs to be moved elsewhere. Blankenship contends he can’t get a fair trial in southern West Virginia.

Blankenship’s attorneys want the case moved to Martinsburg or Baltimore.

Prosecutors want the case to stay in Beckley, but say Charleston or Huntington would work if relocation is necessary.

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