NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors are asking a judge for additional time to decide whether they should appeal an order throwing out the conviction of a former BP engineer in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill investigation.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled last week that Kurt Mix was entitled to a new trial on an obstruction-of-justice charge because of misconduct by a juror in his 2013 trial.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that deciding whether to appeal Duval's order will take time and will require involvement of top Justice Department officials. They asked for an exclusion from federal speedy-trial requirements. The Speedy Trial Act calls for a trial within 70 days of a new trial being ordered but also contains provisions for delays.
Prosecutors accused Mix of deleting text messages to stymie a grand jury investigation.
Prosecutors said in their motion that they consulted with defense attorneys, who did not object to the delay.
Mix's conviction was thrown out and a new trial was ordered after the defense argued that the forewoman in the December trial told a then-deadlocked jury that she had heard statements affirming her view that Mix was guilty. She had overheard on an elevator that people in addition to Mix were facing trial.
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