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Food Safety News

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Stewart Parnell

Defense Wants Indefinite Continuance for PCA Pre-Sentence Report Objections

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The Pre-Sentence Investigative Report (PSIR) for Stewart Parnell has been submitted to the court — ordinarily a sign that sentencing in a federal criminal case is drawing near — but apparently not in this case. Before PSIRs for Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson were readied, attorneys for all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of… Continue Reading

DOJ Food-Safety Enforcement Role to Continue in 2015

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When producers of such staple foods as beef, eggs, and peanut butter found they were the targets of federal criminal prosecution, it became a top food-safety story of 2014. But is it likely that food-safety enforcement will continue to rely on these U.S. Department of Justice-led (DOJ) criminal cases in 2015? You can bet on… Continue Reading

The Top 10 Food-Safety News Stories of 2014

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The top 10 food-safety news stories for 2014, as chosen for the sixth consecutive year by the editors of Food Safety News, were announced today. According to the Internet news site, here are this year’s most important food-safety stories: 1. The U.S. Department of Justice backs up federal food-safety agencies, including USDA and FDA, with unprecedented… Continue Reading

Holding Guilty Accountable in PCA Case Taking Time

Much has happened in secret since trial

After the jury verdicts came in for the Peanut Corporation of American criminal trial two months ago, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the trial in Albany, GA, showed how “any individual or company that puts the health of consumers at risk by criminally selling tainted food will be caught, prosecuted, and held accountable to… Continue Reading

Government: Plenty of Evidence Backs Up Wilkerson Guilty Verdict

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Mary Wilkerson, who was first hired in 2002 to answer the phones and then worked her way up in March 2008 to being manager of quality assurance at Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely, GA processing plant, was the only company employee to go to trial alongside the Parnell brothers. A federal jury in Albany, GA… Continue Reading

Prosecutors Says Inconsistencies Among Verdicts Aren’t Grounds for Acquitting Michael Parnell

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Government attorneys have asked U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands to deny Michael Parnell’s motion for acquittal on the charges for which a jury found him guilty after a nearly eight-week trial. In its first response to post-trial motions made by all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) case, the prosecution… Continue Reading

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

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In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public. But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed… Continue Reading

Parnell Brothers Want New Trial

Defense claims jury considered 'extrinsic evidence'

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Stewart and Michael Parnell have joined in a motion for a new trial filed by defense attorney Thomas J. Bondurant Jr. The motion is sealed, but it references two affidavits, one by a juror and the other by Dallas Carter, a local writer. Contents of the affidavits also have not been made public, as they are… Continue Reading

PCA Defendant Asks Judge to Overturn Obstruction Conviction

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Acquitted by a jury on one count of obstruction of justice but convicted on the other, Mary Wilkerson now wants the judge to enter a not-guilty judgment on that charge, too. Wilkerson is the former quality control manager for Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). She was convicted last month after a seven-week criminal trial in… Continue Reading

Parnell Brothers Post Bond, Released Until Sentencing

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Stewart and Michael Parnell posted secured bonds on Monday morning to obtain their release until sentencing, according to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The bonds, $150,000 for Stewart Parnell, 60, and $100,000 for Michael Parnell, 55, were both secured by cash deposited with the court. With the bonds, the brothers… Continue Reading