Federal judge grants trial delay in BP oil spill fraud case

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge has agreed to delay until Feb. 1 the BP fraud case against San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts and six others.

The Sun Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge Louis Guirola Jr. found the evidence so voluminous that attorneys would need more time to prepare their defenses.

Watts wants to go to trial as soon as possible. His attorney, Robert McDuff, told the judge the case has been hanging over Watts’ head since a February 2013 search of his law office was leaked to the media.

McDuff said he would drop his objection to the delay because newer attorneys needed more time to prepare.

Watts, two non-attorney members of his law firm and four field workers were indicted on 95 charges including conspiracy and aggravated identify theft.