Federal judge Jane Triche Milazzo has recused herself this week from the first criminal case stemming from BP's Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill.
Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer, is charged with obstructing justice for deleting hundreds of revealing text messages about the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf at the height of BP's containment efforts.
Mix plead not guilty earlier in May, and has asked Milazzo's court this week to review third party documents that he said will exonerate him.
Milazzo has not explained why she is recusing herself from presiding over the case, though she did cite a law suggesting judges incapable of impartiality should disqualify themselves. The case has now been reassigned to Judge Stanwood Duval Jr., the Associated Press reported.