Friday, September 19, 2014

Peanut executives judged guilty

Brother Stewart and Michael Parnell and their quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, have all been found guilty in a long trial over salmonella food poisoning from the peanuts they processed at Peanut Corporation of America in Georgia.

During 2008 and 2009 the company’s peanuts sickened at least 714; nine died.

Both Parnells were judged guilty of conspiracy. Wilkerson was found guilty of obstruction.

Conspiracy charges and the obstruction charges each carry up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing will take place later.

Experts say it's the first time corporate executives and plant workers have gone to trial in a food poisoning case.

During the trial, it became clear that the three knew their plant and products were contaminated, yet they kept selling the peanuts.