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BP Engineer on Trial for Deleting Texts

On Monday morning, Kurt Mix became the first person to go on trial for the Big Oozy. Those who may not remember Mix's role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster drama are excused, as he remained largely offscreen in his role as a lowly drilling engineer. But the feds accuse Mix of deleting text messages and voicemails that would have been important to their investigation of the oil disaster.


Mix, of Katy, Texas, worked as an engineer on the effort to estimate how much oil was leaking into the Gulf, as well as the failed Top Kill strategy to stanch the flow. The feds say Mix deleted hundreds of text messages and voicemails that would have had information relevant to their investigation of the flow rate. He was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice. 


In one such text to a supervisor, Mix allegedly estimated the flow rate wa about three times larger than the number that BP was shopping to the public. The texts were later recovered for the investigation through computer forensics by the U.S. Department of Justice. 


In court filings filed prior to the trial, Mix's lawyers don't deny that he deleted the data. However, the 52-year-old's lawyers argue that the info contained therein was irrelevant to the case. They also claim that Mix is being turned into a fall guy. In 2012, Mix said he had "secret evidence" that would set him free.


-Stephen Babcock 


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