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Judge denies Blankenship’s request for Vegas trip

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A federal magistrate has denied former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s request to travel home to Las Vegas for Memorial Day.

The motion, filed May 6, requested travel “home” to Nevada from May 23-30 to visit a dentist and to meet with attorneys located there.

 Conditions of Blankenship’s release were set Nov. 20, after he pleaded “not guilty” to criminal charges related to the April 5, 2010, Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 miners.

The court, citing “serious risk of nonappearance at further proceedings,” restricted Blankenship’s travel to the Southern District of West Virginia, Pike County, Ky. and Washington, D.C., to meet with his attorneys.

The release conditions said Blankenship “has substantial motive and means to flee.”

Since then, he has requested permission to travel to Las Vegas three times. His first request, for Thanksgiving, was granted Nov. 21, but the court noted any further requests would be viewed “less liberally.”

Blankenship’s second request, submitted Dec. 11, to travel to Las Vegas for Christmas and New Year’s, was denied six days later…


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