The criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is in its eighth week. Ken Ward, Jr. of the Charleston Gazette continues to provide updates from the courtroom, but far fewer now that most of the action is behind closed doors where the jury is deliberating.
“Noting that the trial was lengthy and involved complicated charges, Berger said that the jury’s deliberation time to date was not unreasonable. ‘I think the jury has been stellar. They’re continuing apparently to talk.’”
Some of the families of the Upper Big Branch (UBB) miners share the judge’s patience. Ward quotes the sister of Howard “Boone” Payne, 53, who was killed in the mine explosion:
“We’ve been waiting for five and a half years, if it takes another couple weeks, that’s all right. We want justice. We don’t care how long it takes.”
The sister of UBB coal miner Dean Jones, 50, told Ward:
“I continue to believe in the process. I would’ve liked to have been done before Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of things to be thankful for.”
The Charleston Gazette’s Ward also recapped the written notes sent by the jury to Judge Berger. Early in their deliberations they asked: “how long do we deliberate.”
The jurors met all day on Monday and Tuesday of the holiday week until Judge Irene Berger dismissed them. She told them:
“Have a good and restful weekend and happy Thanksgiving to all of you.”
The jurors are scheduled to resume their deliberations on Monday, November 30 at the federal courthouse in Charleston, WV.