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Ex-BP engineer, while seeking to have conviction thrown out, gets delay of sentencing hearing

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NEW ORLEANS — A former BP engineer has been granted a delay in his sentencing on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The sentencing hearing for Kurt Mix had been set for late April. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval granted a delay until Aug. 6.

Defense lawyers had asked for a sentencing date of July 30 or later, saying it would enable Mix to seek temporary employment.

Duval, meanwhile, is considering defense motions to throw out the conviction.

Mix, 52, of Katy, Texas, was accused of deliberately deleting text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's investigation of the spill.

Mix's lawyers have argued that Duval should either formally acquit Mix or order a new trial. They argue that there was insufficient evidence for conviction and that the jury forewoman heard statements outside of the December trial that influenced the jury's decision.

Prosecutors say the conviction was justified and that there is no evidence that the remarks the jury forewoman overheard on a courthouse elevator influenced the verdict.

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