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Jury adjourns for night in ex-BP engineer's trial

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MICHAEL KUNZELMAN | December 16, 2013 06:28 PM EST | AP

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal jury has gone home for the night after deliberating for about an hour-and-a-half in the case of a former BP engineer accused of breaking the law by deleting text messages in the aftermath of the company's massive 2010 oil spill.

The jury will resume deliberations Tuesday morning.

Jurors began their deliberations Monday after hearing closing arguments in the case.

Prosecutors argued that 52-year-old Kurt Mix, of Katy, Texas, was trying to destroy evidence when he deleted two strings of text messages — one with a supervisor and another with a BP contractor.

But a defense lawyer told jurors the charges against Mix are "unfair and baseless" and the product of investigators' "rank incompetence."