Ex-BP Engineer Guilty of Hiding Spill Evidence
Jury said deleted text messages amounted to obstruction of justice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 18, 2013 12:38 PM CST
Kurt Mix, left, leaves Federal Court with an unidentified member of his defense team in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, after he was convicted of one charge.   (Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – A former BP drilling engineer was convicted today of deleting text messages to obstruct a federal investigation of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, making him the first former or current BP official to be found guilty in the mess. He now faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Kurt Mix will be released on his present bond, and sentencing is scheduled for March 26. He hugged his friends and family before departing the courthouse hurriedly.

Trailing behind her brother in the lobby, Bridget Mix called the verdict "just unbelievable. ... You can't wrap your head around any of it." Prosecutors argued that the 52-year-old engineer from Katy, Texas, was trying to destroy evidence when he deleted hundreds of text messages and two voicemails he exchanged with a supervisor and a BP contractor. He was charged on two counts, but acquitted on one. Mix's lawyers said their client didn't hide anything, and preserved other records duplicating the info in the texts. "We remain as convinced as ever of Kurt Mix's innocence," his defense attorney said. Three other current or former BP employees are still awaiting trial. In other bad news for BP today, the Wall Street Journal reports that dolphins in the area around Deepwater Horizon are being hard-hit by lung cancer and other ailments "consistent with petroleum hydrocarbon exposure and toxicity."

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Dec 19, 2013 6:45 AM CST
The corporate greed caused massive environment disaster because they wanted to save few thousand on the valve. Why does the greed don't understand that sometime savings few bucks equals to billions in losses. Will they ever get it, I don't think so. This guy will get what he deserves. You don't cover up the truth after the fact instead you should do everything to cover you own azz and have greed spend additional millions for defense. With that said, we the customer are paying for those losses t the pump.
Dec 19, 2013 12:34 AM CST
This is actually BS, we all delete messages on our cell phones to create room for new ones.
Dec 18, 2013 10:53 PM CST
Didn't anyone tell you that committing crimes for executive management is beyond your pay grade, Mr. Patsy?