The Latest: Ex-BP engineer pleads guilty in oil spill case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest on the case of a former BP engineer who is accused of deleting text messages after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

A former BP engineer has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and hopes to avoid prison after he was accused of deleting text messages about how much oil spewed into the Gulf during the 2010 spill.

Kurt Mix entered the plea Friday in federal court in New Orleans. He has been fighting an obstruction charge for more than three years.

He pleaded guilty to intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer. Prosecutors are recommending probation.

Mix had been part of a BP team trying to stop an underwater gusher of oil. Prosecutors say that after the spill, he deleted text messages he had exchanged with a contractor during the spill.

At a 2013 trial, he was acquitted on one obstruction charge and convicted on another. But he won a new trial on that conviction because of juror misconduct.