Judge delays trial for former BP exec charged in Gulf disaster case

A federal judge has postponed the trial of a former BP executive charged with obstruction of Congress stemming from statements he made about the amount of oil that was flowing from a blown-out well following the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued his order Monday at the request of lawyers for David Rainey of Houston. They said that because of the complexity of the case, they need more time to prepare and would not be ready for trial on Jan. 28.

The judge did not set a new date. At a hearing Jan. 17, Rainey’s lawyers are expected to let the court know how much time they need.

Lawyers for two BP well-site leaders charged with manslaughter in connection with the Gulf disaster also are expected to seek delays of their trial, now set for Feb. 4. A former BP engineer charged with obstruction for allegedly deleting text messages related to the oil flow rate is set for trial Feb. 25.

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About The Author

Veteran newsman currently covering energy for The Houston Chronicle. Spent 12 years at The Associated Press covering energy, airlines, general business news, legal affairs, politics and state and federal government issues. Won or shared numerous awards and award nominations for coverage of the Gulf oil spill, Delta Air Lines, the Atlanta courthouse shootings and the murders of two Dartmouth College professors. Prior to AP, worked at two daily newspapers in the Boston area.