5 convicted in Italian cruise ship crash that killed White Bear Lake couple

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Five employees of an Italian cruise ship that crashed last year and killed 32 people -- including a couple from Minnesota -- have been convicted of manslaughter in an Italian court, CNN reports.

The conviction came Saturday after the judge in the case accepted the employees' plea bargain. Only two of the employees may serve any prison time under the plea deal.

The luxury liner -- which carried 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members -- crashed after it struck rocks off of the Italian island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012.

Among the 32 people who died in the disaster were Barb and Jerry Heil of White Bear Lake, the only Americans lost in the disaster.

The Heils were initially reported missing until their remains were recovered several weeks later. The bodies of the couple were formally identified in April.

Another 150 people were injured in the mishap, 65 of them seriously.

The employees convicted Saturday were originally co-defendants with the cruise ship's captain, Francesco Schettino. But now Schettino is being tried separately on multiple charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Costa Cruises' emergency manager in Genova, Roberto Ferrarini, was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison, while Manrico Giampedroni, hotel director of the Costa Concordia, received two years and six months.

Three officers working under Schettino at the time of the crash all received sentences of 23 months or less, and will likely not serve any prison time.

According to CNN, people who are sentenced to two years or less generally do not have to serve prison time, with the exception of some homicide case that don't include manslaughter.

Meanwhile, the cruise ship remains half-submerged on its side in the area of the crash while a salvage crew of 500 continues to work on a solution to remove the wreckage.

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Family of White Bear Lake couple in Italy

Relatives of Jerry and Barbara Heil met with rescue crews Saturday. The couple is still missing after last week's cruise ship accident off the coast of Italy. The Associated Press reports family members were taken near the ship and placed flowers in honor of their loved ones.

Memorial service honors White Bear Lake couple

Hundreds of people who knew Jerry and Barb Heil gathered at St. Pius the X Catholic Church in White Bear Lake Saturday morning. The Heils are among the 15 people still missing following the Italian cruise ship disaster. The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota couple was remembered for being faithful and loving.