Judge rejects mistrial motion for ex-BP engineer

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2013 4:47 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has refused to declare a mistrial in the case of a former BP drilling engineer charged with obstruction of justice following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kurt Mix is accused of deleting text messages and voicemails about the company's response to the 2010 spill. He has pleaded not guilty.

In a filing Tuesday, lawyers for Mix said prosecution questioning of a witness Monday improperly raised issues of whether Mix ordered copies made of spill-related documents in order to eliminate possibly incriminating hand-written notes in some of the margins. The defense says prosecutors were barred by previous court order from raising that issue.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. refused to halt the trial but ruled Tuesday he would instruct jurors to disregard that testimony.