- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A former high-ranking Massey Energy official has taken the stand in the trial of former company CEO Don Blankenship.

John Poma was vice president and chief administrative officer at Massey Energy when the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia exploded in April 2010, killing 29 men.

Poma is the federal government’s 25th witness in the trial of Blankenship in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break safety laws at Upper Big Branch and lying to financial regulators and investors about safety.

Earlier, the prosecution wrapped up a fourth day of questioning of key witness Bill Ross, a former Massey ventilation expert whose testimony included his once-confidential scathing review of safety under Blankenship.

The trial has entered its sixth week.


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