Judge in BP Criminal Trial Steps Down

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge in New Orleans has recused herself from the criminal case against a former BP engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo didn't specify in Tuesday's order why she is recusing herself. But she cited a law that says judges should disqualify themselves if their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

The case against 50-year-old Kurt Mix, of Katy, Texas, has been reassigned to Judge Stanwood Duval Jr.

Mix pleaded not guilty on May 3 to two counts of obstruction of justice. An indictment accuses him of deleting text messages to a supervisor and a contractor to prevent them from being used in a grand jury probe of the spill.

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