Another pre-trial hearing in the criminal case involving former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives — this one over possible misconduct by the prosecution — will be held Friday at 10 a.m. On Monday, Judge W. Louis Sands ruled on the other pre-trial motions that were heard June 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Except for one, Sands denied all other prosecution and defense motions related to the trial. The judge will allow test results from both private laboratories that worked for PCA and from federal and state laboratories involved in the 2008-09 outbreak to be used as routine business records at trial. Allowing the test results to be used as “routine business records” means that he does not view them as “testimonial statements.” Sands said of the two, testing records produced by federal and state entities during the Salmonella outbreak “present a closer question.” However, he said the court was persuaded that “the primary purpose of those records was to address an ongoing emergency.” “After all,” he ruled, “when federal and state regulatory agencies responded to the PCA facility, they were tasked with ending or at least mitigating a deadly salmonella outbreak sweeping across the country.” Sands said it was critical “to locate and isolate the infected food. Both Stewart Parnell and the Government agree that salmonella is a dangerous, even deadly, substance.” “And because PCA distributed its allegedly tainted products nationwide, the emergency in late 2008 and early 2009 was massive in significance and scale,” the judge continued. “Indeed, the Government claims the salmonella sickened more than 700 and killed nine.” Sands said at that point, testing by government agencies was “purely regulatory.” He said law enforcement did not direct, request, or oversee the microbiological testing, and that it was conducted separate and apart from FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation. The judge denied the other pre-trial requests, including one that would have prevented anyone from talking about how the illnesses and deaths are related to the charges against the three former PCA executives. In denying that request, Sands ruled that evidence about the Salmonella illnesses is admissible “as both direct evidence and as intrinsic evidence.” Defense attorneys had argued that since only financial and business crimes were alleged, bringing up details about the illnesses and deaths that occurred as a result of the outbreak is not relevant and would only taint the jury. However, the judge ruled that “evidence of salmonella illnesses is inextricably intertwined with the crimes indicted in this case” as it “provides context” to the offenses and explains why the government began their investigation of the former PCA executives. “Without that information, the jury would be invited to speculate about the background to the prosecution,” Sands added. Most of the pre-trial action came from either government prosecutors or defense attorneys for brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell, the former chief executive officer and peanut broker for PCA, respectively. However, defendant Mary Wilkerson sought to exclude “any memorandum, recording, video or testimony” related to one of the two counts of obstruction of justice with which she is charged. She was PCA’s former quality control manager. Sands ruled against her motion because he said there was no evidence of bad faith.