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Mary Wilkerson

Wilkerson seeks release on bail as Lightsey gains his freedom

Crimes and consequences in cases of peanut executives and deadly Salmonella outbreak

Lightsey, left, and Parnell

Samuel Lightsey, the one-time operations manager for the Peanut Corporation of America’s processing plant in Blakely, GA, is out of prison with a new job at a company equipping the peanut industry. Another key figure in the PCA Salmonella saga, 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, wants to be released from prison pending the outcome of her appeal,… Continue Reading

‘Fry them’ comments in jury room could get Parnells a new trial

Defense lawyers for executives in peanut butter Salmonella trial say jurors had loose lips

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The conduct of the 2014 jury that convicted Peanut Corporation of America executives delayed sentencing for about year, but in its final analysis the district court found a new trial based on jury misconduct was not warranted. Appellate attorneys for peanut broker Michael Parnell filed lengthy after-hours arguments Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

First of PCA convicted executives begins prison release process

Lightsey, left, and Parnell

Samuel Lightsey, 52, the former manager of the now defunct Peanut Corporation of America processing plant in Blakely, GA, has moved into a Residential Re-entry Management facility in Atlanta a step toward his release from federal prison scheduled for Oct. 1. Lightsey received the lightest prison sentence among the five eanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives and managers… Continue Reading

Government responds to defense issues in PCA appeal

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Prosecution and defense attorneys in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case have found something they can agree upon. Both sides now say the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta needs to hear oral arguments before deciding if the District Court made any errors that should result in reversing the verdicts and/or the… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeal sends feds scrambling for more time

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While he is not conceding anything to the appellants, the attorney who’s been assigned to represent the government on the Peanut Corporation of America criminal appeals says he needs more time. John-Alex Romano, the attorney from the Department of Justice’s appellate section for the criminal division, has asked for 60 additional days to prepare and… Continue Reading

Appeal briefs filed for Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases

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With their clients starting  their second year behind bars, criminal defense attorneys in the Peanut Corporation of America case finally filed briefs asking for those convictions and sentences to be over-turned. Appellate attorneys for Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson together filed briefs totaling 236 pages on the day after Thanksgiving —… Continue Reading

More time for ‘most significant food safety case in history…’

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More time and more words are being awarded for appellants who say they are working on “the most significant food safety case in the history of the United States. And its significance is matched only by its factual and legal complexity.” Appellants Stewart Parnell and Michael Parnell are getting a total of 3,000 additional words for their… Continue Reading

Wilkerson remains in search of PCA ‘exculpatory documents’

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Mary Wilkerson has been here before. She’s the only defendant in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case to be convicted and sentenced for the cover-up related to Salmonella testing rather than the criminal conspiracy related to a deadly outbreak. Wilkerson, 43, is serving a five-year sentence at the federal prison in Marianna, FL, for… Continue Reading

PCA team will divide up words before choosing them carefully

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Criminal appeals in the United States are all about words. Appellants cannot change the trial court record. They can make arguments about legal issues raised by the trial court. But rarely is a defendant sprung from prison to hear a new witness or present new evidence. Words, how many and how they are divided up,… Continue Reading

Appellants in PCA criminal case given more time to file briefs

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has set Oct. 5, 2016, as the deadline for appellants Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson, to file briefs. Originally they were due on June 20. The trio is appealing their convictions and sentences in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case that went to a jury trial in… Continue Reading