NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors have been granted additional time to decide whether they should appeal an order throwing out the conviction of a former BP engineer accused of deleting texts about the amount of oil flowing from a blown-out well during the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval granted the prosecutors' motion Thursday.
Duval ruled last week that Kurt Mix was entitled to a new trial on an obstruction-of-justice charge because of juror misconduct in his 2013 trial.
Prosecutors had said that deciding whether to appeal will take time and require involvement of top Justice Department officials. They asked for an exclusion from the federal Speedy Trial Act. It calls for a trial within 70 days of a new one being ordered.
Duval didn't specify how much additional time he has authorized.
Mix's attorneys did not object to the prosecutors' request.
Prosecutors accused Mix of deleting text messages to other BP workers dealing with the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 people.
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