New trial ordered for ex-BP engineer

New trial ordered for ex-BP engineer

June 12th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

A large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in this 2010 file photo.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge has thrown out the conviction of a former BP engineer who was convicted of deleting company text messages related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Kurt Mix of Katy, Texas, had been convicted of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he deliberately deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's investigation of the spill.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Thursday that the jury verdict was affected by remarks the forewoman overheard outside the jury room. Duval threw out the verdict and ordered a new trial.