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Food Safety News

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Stewart Parnell

Judge Admonishes Stewart Parnell’s Mother for Outburst

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ALBANY, GA—Stewart Parnell’s mother decided to use a courtroom break on Thursday to verbally confront a female FBI agent coming out of a stall in the women’s bathroom on the third floor of the C.B. King Courthouse in Albany, GA. The approach was not welcomed. The agent, who appeared to be unarmed, was present to… Continue Reading

Restitution Phase of PCA Criminal Case Starts With Bankruptcy History

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ALBANY, GA—Defense attorneys in the restitution phase of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal prosecution focused in Wednesday on a 2009 claims adjustment agreement that a bankruptcy court used to disperse $12.75 million to 122 victims of the PCA-caused Salmonella outbreak. E. Scott Austin, representing former PCA owner and chief executive Stewart Parnell, suggested… Continue Reading

Deaths Linked to PCA Peanut Butter May Finally Be Talked About in Open Court

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ALBANY, GA—United States of America v. Stewart Parnell et al began 346 weeks ago when food safety cops on the beat first identified an unusual multistate cluster of Salmonella Typhimurium. It would become the most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness experienced in the 21st century so far and among the top 10 of the modern… Continue Reading

Unsealed Post-Trial Documents Lift Veil Over Past Eight Months

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The long-running food safety drama that is now the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case took another important turn last week when the convictions of Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson were upheld by the trial court judge. That was followed by federal Judge W. Louis Sands ordering all the parties back into… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: A Trial That Was Far More Than Good Enough

Opinion

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No criminal trial is perfect. While it’s been difficult to wait for the past eight months, we are now confident that the trial of the United States of America v. Stewart Parnell et al was close enough to perfection to easily pass muster. Senior federal Judge W. Louis Sands used that extra time to do… Continue Reading

Convictions Upheld in Peanut Corporation of America Case

Lawyers for Parnell brothers plan to appeal

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Post-trial motions for acquittal, dismissal, or, in the alternative, a new trial filed by defendants Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson have all been denied by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. As many as 14 motions, sealed until now, were settled by the judge’s ruling on Thursday, although defense attorneys for the… Continue Reading

PCA Defense Attorney Calls Page in FDA Agent’s Diary ‘Suspect’

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A forensic expert should be hired by the court to determine if a page in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration agent’s diary was tampered with before last summer’s trial of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives. That’s the latest request from court-appointed defense attorney Thomas G. Ledford, who represents Mary Wilkerson, the former manager… Continue Reading

DOJ: Wilkerson’s Move for Acquittal in PCA Trial Isn’t New and It’s Too Late

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Government attorneys have roared back at the former quality control manager for a Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant who claims she was wrongly convicted of obstruction of justice. Mary Wilkerson wants a federal judge to grant her an acquittal for the crime a jury convicted her of last September. But U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys… Continue Reading

Sentencing Process Resumes for PCA Defendants

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Requests to put more time on the clock may not be over, but Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports (PSIRs) have now been filed for all five defendants convicted in the federal government’s case against Peanut Corporation of America, and some are under deadline for appeals. PSIRs are confidential documents prepared by Probation and Pretrial Services, a unit… Continue Reading

Acquittal Motion Thickens Plot as PCA Post-Trial Wait Continues

More Than Six Months Have Passed Since Verdicts

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A two-month break in post-trial action in the criminal prosecution of former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives ended Thursday with more than 50 pages being filed in support of an acquittal for defendant Mary Wilkerson. Wilkerson, quality control manager for the Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant that was the source of contamination in a Salmonella… Continue Reading