Trial winds down for former BP engineer

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By AP

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Updated: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:16:43 EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal trial is drawing to a close for a former BP drilling engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments Monday in Kurt Mix's trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. Mix didn't testify. It started two weeks ago. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Mix pleaded not guilty to charges that he deliberately deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's investigation of the spill.

Defense attorney Joan McPhee told jurors Mix deleted the texts "for the most innocent of reasons" and didn't hide anything from the grand jury.

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