NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Twelve jurors and three alternates have been picked to hear the Justice Department's case against a former BP drilling engineer charged with deleting text messages and voicemails about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The jury will hear attorneys' opening statements Tuesday for Kurt Mix's federal trial, which is expected to last up to three weeks. Prosecutors claim Mix deliberately deleted strings of text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's probe of the nation's worst offshore oil spill. The 52-year-old resident of Katy, Texas, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.