Former coal executive Don Blankenship is scheduled to be sentenced for a conviction connected to the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

The ex-Massey Energy CEO is due in court Wednesday for sentencing.

Blankenship was convicted Dec. 3 of a misdemeanor conspiracy to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine. The southern West Virginia coal mine exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

Prosecutors are advocating for the maximum penalties of a year in prison and a $250,000 fine. Blankenship's defense says he shouldn't receive more than probation and a fine.

Defense attorneys also are pushing to keep Blankenship out of prison until he receives a decision on the appeal his attorneys have promised. Prosecutors oppose the motion.