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Judge Berger denies two more defense motions

This is an update by Joel Ebert, who is covering the Don Blankenship trial with Ken Ward Jr.

Today U.S. District Judge Irene Berger denied two recently filed motions by the Blankenship defense team.

The first denial was a refusal to allow the defense to introduce an edited version of a video of a safety program kickoff that took place in August 2009. The judge previously denied the defense’s efforts to introduce the video.

In her brief order, Berger cited her previous reasons for continuing to deny the introduction of the video.

The order comes a day after prosecutors filed a response to the Blankenship team’s latest effort to have jurors be able to see the video.

The second order from Berger filed today denied the defense’s opposition to government exhibit 83 and any similar documents. The exhibit, which has already been admitted into evidence, showed how Massey compared to other companies in terms of MSHA violations.

In her order, Berger was direct:

“For the reasons previously set forth on the record regarding the admissibility of this exhibit, and because the Court finds no evidence of unfair surprise and no violation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 16, the Court ORDERS that the motion be DENIED.”