The Latest: BP supervisor pleads guilty in 2010 oil spill

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2015 11:06 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest on the case against a BP supervisor charged in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. All times local:

10 a.m.

A BP supervisor charged in the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act, and involuntary manslaughter charges have been dismissed.

Donald Vidrine appeared in federal court Wednesday.

Vidrine and another defendant, Robert Kaluza, were charged with violating the act and 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter. But earlier Wednesday, prosecutors asked that the manslaughter charges be dropped. The judge agreed.

The explosion on the BP-operated drilling rig killed 11 workers and set off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster.

Prosecutors say Vidrine and Kaluza botched a safety test and disregarded abnormally high pressure readings.

Vidrine will be sentenced in April. The judge hasn't decided whether to accept the recommended sentence, which includes 10 months' probation.

Kaluza wasn't in court Wednesday. No hearing for him is set.

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8:50 a.m.

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against two BP supervisors worked on the rig where 11 workers died in a 2010 explosion.

If the judge grants the request Wednesday, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine would face only one count each of violating the clean water act. That charge is a misdemeanor. The court filing doesn't offer a reason for the request, saying only that dismissing the manslaughter charges is "in the interests of justice."

Vidrine was set to appear in federal court Wednesday morning for a change of plea hearing. There was no hearing scheduled for Kaluza.

The explosion on the BP PLC-operated drilling rig killed 11 workers about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast and set off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster.

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2 a.m.Court records show a change of plea hearing has been set for one of two defendants charged with manslaughter in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed 11 people.

Donald Vidrine is expected to appear in federal court Wednesday.

Vidrine and another defendant, Robert Kaluza, are charged with violating the Clean Water Act and 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

They were both well site leaders on the rig when the explosion occurred, responsible for the safety of drilling operations.

The explosion on the BP-operated drilling rig killed 11 workers about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast and set off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster.

There was no hearing scheduled for Kaluza.

Vidrine's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. The Justice Department declined comment.