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Trial opens for ex-BP engineer who deleted texts

Tuesday - 12/3/2013, 8:39pm  ET

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal prosecutor has vowed to prove that a former BP drilling engineer destroyed evidence when he deleted hundreds of text messages from a mobile phone after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But a defense attorney told jurors Tuesday that Kurt Mix deleted the texts "for the most innocent of reasons" and didn't hide anything from a grand jury probing the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

Mix is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for deleting messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor.

At the start of Mix's trial, a prosecutor said BP repeatedly warned the Texas resident about the consequences of deleting messages. Mix's lawyer, however, said he preserved documents containing the same information he allegedly tried to conceal.

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