UPDATE: In a ruling from the bench that came after a one hour and 13 minute hearing Friday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands denied defendant Mary Wilkerson’s motion to have all charges agains her dismissed. Her trial of with two other former former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives will begin Monday with jury selection in Albany, GA. U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys tore into Wilkerson’s request, which suggests that government charges should either be dismissed or her trial separated from that of Stewart and Michael Parnell, the brothers who hail from a Virginia family that has long made peanuts their business. Writing for the government, DOJ attorney Patrick H. Hearn pointed out that Wilkerson joined in an earlier motion to dismiss that Sands denied. As for the request to sever her trial from the two others, Hearn cited precedent. “The Supreme Court has explained that ‘there is a preference in the federal system for joint trials of defendants who are indicted together,’” he wrote, from the 1993 case of Zafiro v. United States. Hearn said the rule of trying co-defendants together “is particularly true in conspiracy cases.” Conspiracy and fraud charges are the centerpiece of the government’s criminal litigation against the former PCA executives. Wilkerson is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice, a pair of felonies that carry the possibility of 10 years in jail. She began working for PCA as a receptionist at the company’s peanut processing facility in Blakely, GA, in April 2002, eventually being promoted to office manager. She became the quality assurance manager in March 2008, just in time for the Salmonella outbreak that would bring down the company less than a year later. Her Albany, GA attorney, Thomas G. Ledford, renewed Wilkerson’s request for dismissal because he claims the government has violated his client’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Ledford, who has consistently charged the government with leaving the defense “buried in millions of useless documents,” reiterated his concerns over the late arrivals from both the prosecution and DOJ’s independent “taint team” which is reviewing documents from business law firms that did work for PCA before the outbreak occurred. Late delivery of prosecution documents already delayed the start of the trial by two weeks. The government now says its June 30 document delivery involves 3,710 “unique documents,” not 100,000 documents as the defense figured. In his response, Hearn provided guidance for searching DVDs for specific documents. However, Ledford pointed out that even after getting “taint team” evidence, it took several more days to obtain passwords. If there is no action, or if the judge denies her motion, Wilkerson will join former PCA chief executive officer Stewart Parnell and his peanut broker brother, Michael Parnell, at the defendant’s table in the Albany, GA, federal courthouse on Monday. Stewart Parnell is charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and introducing food into interstate commerce that was misbranded and adulterated. All together, he’s facing 69 federal felonies. The 43 felony charges against Michael Parnell include multiple counts of conspiracy, interstate shipments fraud, wire fraud, and introduction of food that was misbranded and adulterated into interstate commerce. If the trial gets underway Monday with jury selection, it will end 75 weeks of pre-trial sparring between the three teams of defense attorneys and government prosecutors. The criminal charges were brought four years after a Salmonella outbreak associated with PCA products sickened more than 700 people and killed nine. The trial is expected to take eight weeks.