Jurors in the Don Blankenship criminal trial took a brief break this morning after U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin completed the first portion of the government’s closing argument.
The jury will hear next from lead defense lawyer Bill Taylor.
In his closing, Goodwin tried, among other things, to reduce the impact of testimony that former Massey official Chris Blanchard, a government witness who provided much helpful testimony to the defense during his cross examination.
Goodwin referred to Blanchard repeatedly as one of the “yes men” who did Blankenship’s bidding. Goodwin also said Blankenship was obsessed with “flashy things” — like reflective clothing for miners — more than spending money on miners to keep up with safety laws.
Inside the courtroom, the gallery remained at full capacity. People who were trying to get in and watch were directed to an overflow room with a televised video feed of the proceedings. That room contained about 20 people at one point, including U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Booth Goodwin’s father.
Booth Goodwin took about an hour and 15 minutes of the two hours allotted to the government for closing arguments, saving 45 minutes for rebuttal.