Defense to make final appeals to salmonella jury

AP News
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Posted: Sep 12, 2014 6:27 AM

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A federal jury is hearing final appeals from attorneys in the trial of a Georgia peanut plant owner and two others charged in connection with a deadly salmonella outbreak five years ago.

Defense attorneys for former Peanut Corporation owner Stewart Parnell and his co-defendants are scheduled to make closing arguments Friday in U.S. District Court in Albany. Prosecutors say Parnell and his brother, Michael Parnell, shipped contaminated peanuts and peanut butter and faked lab tests for salmonella to deceive their customers. Authorities say the outbreak killed nine people and sickened 714.

Stewart Parnell and Mary Wilkerson, the plant's former quality assurance manager, are also charged with obstruction of justice.

The trial began Aug. 1 and prosecutors spent four hours Thursday summing up their case for the jury.