When he speaks in court, Albany, GA, defense attorney Thomas G. Ledford is the epitome of the Southern gentleman lawyer. His client in the Peanut Corporation of America trial is Mary Wilkerson, who was the quality assurance officer for the PCA plant in Blakely, GA, which is about one hour away from the C.B. King Courthouse where PCA executive are being tried. She is arguably the only local person on trial as both Stewart and Michael Parnell from Virginia face longer lists of felonies. Still, she is facing up to 10 years in a federal prison. From the outset, Ledford has claimed that his client, who is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice, has been inundated by 3.5 to 4.5 million documents without much way of organizing them. Then came the extra 100,000 on July 1, late discovery from the government that resulted in a two-week delay in the trial, which is now set for July 28. And, in recent days, Ledford has joined into joint defense strategies for his client. But now he’s making a break, asking U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands to either dismiss the charges against his client or to sever her from going to trial with the Parnell brothers. He’s gone back to concerns about the “voluminous amount of documents” that have bothered the Wilkerson defense from the beginning, especially those last 100,000. “The Government represented to the Court that the files were easily accessible with the Concordance Software using relevant search terms,” Ledford wrote. “The Defendant shows that this is not factual as the 100,000 files did not have the databases already created and did not have identifiable Bates Numbers, thereby requiring a laborious and slow process of searching this recent data dump of Discovery and reading them manually page by page, which cannot possibly be done before the Trial date of July 28, 2014 since the Concordance Software will not search without the relevant terms and Bates Numbering.” Ledford also charges that the government did not provide a required password until July 17, further making the analysis of the documents difficult to impossible before trial. He says searching for any one document is “akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack.” The Albany attorney argues that the government has hidden meaningful discovery in millions of useful documents. Wilkerson and brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell are scheduled for a July 28 jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia after a two-week delay. In February 2013, they were among those charged in a 76-count federal indictment charging conspiracy and fraud involving violations of putting misbranded and adulterated food into interstate commerce. Those practices led to a 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 people and killed nine. The government has not yet responded to Ledford’s motions to dismiss nor have they yet been scheduled for hearing. Judge Sand has kept his schedule open this week, so a hearing on Ledford’s motion before trial remains a possibility.