- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - A federal judge is delaying a trial until April for a former West Virginia coal baron facing criminal charges.

In U.S. District Court in Beckley, a docket entry Monday says Judge Irene Berger rescheduled ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s trial until April 20. It was slated for Jan. 26.

A pretrial hearing originally scheduled for Tuesday will be March 3 instead.

In a previous hearing, Blankenship’s attorneys said the trial should be delayed a year. Federal prosecutors opposed a lengthy delay.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, where a 2010 explosion killed 29 men.

Blankenship’s attorneys have also said they want the case moved out of southern West Virginia, which prosecutors oppose.

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