After testimony from 45 witnesses, the often-tedious introduction of 1,000 pages of documents, and difficulty getting some evidence, the prosecuting attorney decided to end on the 32nd day of the trial where it began — with Stewart Parnell’s emails. In closing arguments to the 12-member jury, K. Alan Dasher, assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, went back to the email Parnell sent to get a shipment of peanut butter moving when it might have been contaminated with Salmonella. “(Expletive), just ship it,” Parnell wrote. “I cannot afford to (lose) another customer.” Dasher read it out to the jury. Dasher painted Parnell, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), as reckless and willing to take risks with others by shipping products that were contaminated and faking the paperwork so customers thought what they were getting was safe. Defense attorneys for Parnell and the two other defendants will make their closing arguments today in federal court in Albany, GA. Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson, manager of quality control for PCA’s now-closed peanut processing plant at Blakely, GA, are charged with a total of 111 felonies. The government surprised many courtroom observers by resting its case at 11:44 a.m. Wednesday, after 26 days. The prosecution concluded its case without obtaining certain documents it sought from law firms that previously represented PCA in its corporate and business affairs, including defending the company in the civil litigation and bankruptcy that were all completed before federal criminal charges were brought. Attorneys for the two law firms and the lawyers involved have resisted the subpoenas ever since the government issued them shortly before the trial began. U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands was not satisfied with the government’s arguments for why attorney-client and work product privileges normally enjoyed by attorneys and their clients should be waived. The judge ordered government attorneys to write a “supplemental response” to the former PCA attorneys’ “motion to quash.” He then allowed the lawyers seeking to quash the subpoenas “the opportunity for a “sur-reply” to the government’s arguments. In redoing its arguments, the prosecution team said that it would be satisfied with documents “that reflect any verbatim or near verbatim statements by the defendants….” But even with more narrow objectives, the former PCA lawyers did not want to go along. And, on the same day the government wrapped up its case to the jury, attorneys for the former PCA law firms and their lawyers from the firms of Morris, Manning, & Martin in Atlanta and Faegre Baker Daniels in Minneapolis filed more objections. They said that even after “backpedaling,” the government was making “unduly burdensome” demands that were “unreasonable and oppressive.” They further argue the government is making demands for information that is outside the rules of criminal procedure. While Sands has not yet ruled on the motion to quash, it would seem the issue will become moot with the conclusion of the trial. After the government finished its closing arguments, the three defense teams required only about 100 minutes before resting. Stewart Parnell’s attorney gave an opening statement at the start of the trial, and Mary Wilkerson’s lawyer again opted not to make one. The two defendants also declined the opportunity to call any witnesses. Ed Tolley, Michael Parnell’s attorney, did use the opening statement opportunity to explain to the jury that his client was never an employee of PCA, but instead, through his PP Sales, was a purchaser of PCA products. Tolley also called two character witnesses, including Michael Parnell’s wife Jean Parnell. The trial will continue Friday, the 33rd day, with closing statements by the defense. After that, there’s not much left other than the judge’s instructions before the case goes to the jury.