NEW ORLEANS — The first criminal trial produced by the Justice Department’s sweeping probe of BP’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ended Wednesday with a jury convicting a drilling engineer of trying to obstruct investigators by deleting text messages from his cellular phone.
Kurt Mix, a former BP employee who worked on the company’s efforts to stop the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, embraced stunned relatives and friends after jurors convicted him of an obstruction-of-justice charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The jury acquitted Mix of a second count of the same charge.
Mix, a 52-year-old from Katy, Texas, declined to be interviewed after the verdict, but his attorneys vowed to fight his conviction — a major milestone in an investigation that already has resulted in a guilty plea by BP itself. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.