US appeals granting of new trial to ex-BP engineer

Associated PressJuly 11, 2014 

— Federal prosecutors are appealing a judge's decision to grant a new trial to a former BP engineer convicted of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The notice of appeal in the case of Kurt Mix was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, where Mix was tried, and at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prosecutors accused Mix of deliberately deleting text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor about the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

In June, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval threw out Mix's December 2013 conviction and granted him a new trial. He ruled that a jury forewoman tainted the deliberations by mentioning to a deadlocked jury that she had heard something outside the trial that affirmed her view of Mix's guilt.

Mix's new trial currently is set for Aug. 18, although the appeal could change that.

Prosecutors say Mix deleted the text messages in order to stymie a grand jury investigation of the spill.

Mix's attorneys have argued there is ample evidence he shared information about the flow rate throughout the government investigation. They also said prosecutors failed to prove that Mix knew the information he deleted would be pertinent to a grand jury investigation — an investigation they said he did not know about and that had not yet even begun.

The Sun Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service