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Brief: Gulf oil spill indictment trial heats up

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 17:12

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Some of the text messages that a former BP drilling engineer deleted from his cellphone contained information that could have been evidence in the Justice Department’s investigation of the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an FBI agent testified Wednesday at the engineer’s trial on obstruction of justice charges.

Investigators recovered a string of deleted text messages that Kurt Mix had sent to a supervisor while he worked on a team of experts who were trying to seal BP’s blown-out Macondo well. Special Agent Kelly Bryson, the first witness at Mix’s trial, said some of those messages helped show what BP engineers knew at the time about the amount of oil gushing out of the well.

Mix deleted from his iPhone a string of 331 text messages to the supervisor, Jonathan Sprague, in October 2010 and another string of 182 messages to BP contractor Wilson Arabie in August 2011. 

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