Blankenship earlier this year wrapped up his 1-year sentence at a Bakersfield, Calif., low-security federal prison on a charge of conspiracy to violate mine safety standards. His appeal centered on the contention that a District Court judge should not have directed a jury that “reckless disregard” of federal safety standards could lead to a conviction, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.
The Supreme Court named Blankenship’s case Tuesday among dozens of others it chose not to take on.
The mine that Massey owned received a number of safety violations for improper ventilation prior to the April 2010 methane gas and coal dust explosion that killed killed 29 miners. In 2014, Blankenship was indicted on a number of charges related to his alleged mismanagement.
The indictment said Blankenship “fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated [the mine’s] practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws and make more money.”