Guilty Plea Hearing Set For W. Va Executive In Spill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The last executive charged in a chemical spill that contaminated West Virginia’s biggest drinking water supply is expected to plead guilty.

Former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern is scheduled for a guilty plea hearing Wednesday in Charleston federal court in front of Judge Thomas Johnston.

Southern faces up to 93 years in prison if convicted of federal pollution and bankruptcy fraud charges. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Five other ex-Freedom officials and the bankrupt company itself have pleaded guilty to federal pollution violations.

Former Freedom executive Dennis Farrell pleaded guilty Tuesday. His plea deal includes 30 days to two months in prison and up to $200,000 in fines.

The January 2014 spill spurred a ban on using tap water for 300,000 people for up to 10 days.