The Latest: Opening arguments ex-BP rig supervisor’s trial

NEW ORLEANS – The Latest on the trial of a former BP supervisor on a pollution charge in the 2010 oil spill (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

Court proceedings in the trial of a Deepwater Horizon rig supervisor began before the jury arrived. Discussions revolved around some of the evidence and whether codefendant Donald Vidrine’s name should remain in the indictment.

Vidrine has pleaded guilty to the same pollution charge that Robert Kaluza is being tried on. Prosecutor Jennifer Saulino said Vidrine will testify.

The judge called the presence of his name in the indictment “a dangling participle the size of Jupiter.” He said the name is likely to make jurors think about him. Lawyers agreed to remove the name, and the judge gave them time to do so.

Proceedings began shortly after 9 a.m. with Saulino reading the revised indictment to the 12 jurors and two alternates.


3:30 a.m.

Federal prosecutors and lawyers for a Deepwater Horizon rig supervisor are ready to tell jurors what they expect to prove as 65-year-old Robert Kaluza is tried on a misdemeanour pollution charge from the BP oil spill.

A jury was chosen Tuesday for what’s probably the last trial from a sweeping Justice Department probe of the rig explosion and blowout. Opening arguments were scheduled Wednesday.

The well blew in April 2010, spewing an estimated 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico before it was plugged months later.

Prosecutors say Kaluza and fellow supervisor Donald Vidrine botched a “negative pressure test” and missed clear signs of trouble before the blowout.

Vidrine pleaded guilty to the same charge: violating the Clean Water Act. He’s among 31 possible prosecution witnesses.