According to the Associated Press, Blankenship – who was first convicted on December 3, 2015, and is currently out on $1 million bond – entered the request April 12 in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

He and his legal team have argued that he could serve his sentence, or at least a good portion of it, before an appeals judgment can be made.

Prosecutors now have until April 20 to respond to the motion, according to a report in the legal journal the West Virginia Record.

District Judge Irene Berger, who handed down the sentence, had accepted a motion outlining that the ex-executive didn’t have to report to prison within 10 days. The same day, however, she refused a motion requesting his freedom on bond pending the hearing and appeal decision.

According to court documentation, Blankenship paid his fines on April 8.