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Don Blankenship's defense team files notice it will appeal sentence

Don Blankenship, right, and his attorney react outside the federal courthouse on Wednesday after the former Massey Energy chief executive officer was sentenced. (WCHS/WVAH)

Former Massey Energy Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship's defense team has filed notice it plans to appeal his sentence

On Wednesday, a federal judge Wednesday sentenced Blankenship to the maximum one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The sentence in the landmark case was handed down by U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in federal court in Charleston.

Blankenship was convicted Dec. 3 of a misdemeanor conspiracy to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine, where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010. The former coal chief's historic trial had 24 days of testimony and 27 witnesses take the stand.

The sentencing followed a number of key decisions this week by the judge in which parties had been seeking restitution from Blankenship. On Tuesday, she denied restitution that was being sought by 94 individuals from Blankenship. It came on the heels on another decision by the judge - a ruling she made Monday when she denied a push by prosecutors to make Blankenship pay $28 million in restitution to Alpha Natural Resources.

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