NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Gulf of Mexico rig explosion that killed 11 workers and unleashed the nation's worst offshore oil spill also led to criminal charges against four BP employees, who faced prison time if convicted.
But the Justice Department's decision to drop manslaughter charges against two BP rig supervisors makes it increasingly likely that nobody will spend a day behind bars for crimes associated with the deadly disaster.
One of those rig supervisors, Donald Vidrine, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act after a judge agreed to dismiss 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter against him and Robert Kaluza.
The cases against two other former BP employees already have been resolved - one with an acquittal and another with a sentence of probation.
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