I spent much of 2015 tracking the criminal trial of former Massey CEO Don Blankenship, who was indicted on criminal charges relating to West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine, the site of a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.
None of the three felony charges directly accused Blankenship of causing the disaster at Upper Big Branch mine, which happened when a spark from a longwall shearer ignited a fireball that hit accumulated coal dust, triggering a massive explosion.
Yet, the explosion overshadowed and informed every bit of the trial.
On Thursday, Blankenship was convicted of misdemeanor consipiracy to willfully violate mine safety regulations.
Read my story at Grist covering the trial and its outcome.