Judge won't dismiss charge faced by ex-BP engineer

Associated Press Modified: November 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012

"It is not a crime, your honor, to delete inconsequential banter between friends and colleagues," defense lawyer Joan McPhee told U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval.

Duval agreed most of the texts were innocuous but he said some dealt with the spill. He said a jury would have to decide their relevance.

During a three-hour hearing on various defense and prosecution motions, Duval also turned down a defense motion seeking more details from the prosecution on how Mix is alleged to have impeded a grand jury investigation into the spill and response.

The judge declined to rule immediately on a defense motion seeking an array of documents dealing with BP's measure of the flow from the spewing well and efforts to stop the flow.