44ºF

Prosecutors seek max of 1 year in prison for ex-coal CEO

In a Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse. (AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Prosecutors want a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for convicted ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who ran a West Virginia coal mine that was the site of a deadly explosion.

In a sentencing memorandum in federal court Monday, prosecutors said a shorter sentence could only be interpreted as declaring that mine safety laws aren't to be taken seriously.

Prosecutors wrote that Upper Big Branch Mine was a powder keg 1,000 feet below the surface, primed to blow at any time. The mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Blankenship was convicted Dec. 3 of a misdemeanor conspiracy to willfully violate mine safety standards at the mine.

In their memorandum, Blankenship's attorneys say he shouldn't receive more than probation and a fine. They say they intend to appeal. Defense attorneys included letters from people commending him.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)