NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss obstruction-of-justice charges against a former BP engineer accused of deleting text messages and voicemails about the company's response to its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval rejected claims that there were serious defects in the grand jury proceedings that led to Kurt E. Mix's indictment.
Mix's lawyers said prosecutors never provided the grand jury with any evidence about the content of the text messages and voicemails that Mix, who is to be tried in December, is charged with deleting.
Duvall, in a 33-page ruling, rejected both arguments, saying the grand jury's lack of knowledge of the messages' content was not grounds for dismissal, and that the errors alleged by Mix's attorneys do not justify dismissal of the charges.
In all, Duvall dismissed three motions to dismiss charges against Mix.
Mix, a resident of Katy, Texas, faces two counts of obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of the 2010 disaster. He has pleaded not guilty.
The April 2010 blowout of BP's Macondo well triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
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