Peanut boss, facing prison risk in salmonella case, already wants out

Stewart Parnell, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, is maneuvering to stay out of prison on appeal even as his sentencing hearing starts today in what could be a watershed case for food safety.

Last year, jurors found Parnell guilty on dozen of counts, including fraud and conspiracy tied to a salmonella outbreak that had Americans dumping peanut products from their homes in 2009. Nine people died and more than 700 fell ill after eating products tied to Parnell’s company. Jurors concluded he intentionally shipped out tainted peanut products from one of his plants in South Georgia.

Parnell could be hammered with a sentence tougher than what many white collar criminals get.

On Monday, the day his sentencing hearing was slated to start in south Georgia, Parnell’s attorney’s filed a motion seeking his release on bond from custody pending an appeal he plans to file. They argue Parnell isn’t a flight risk or a danger to the community and that the appeal is not being made solely for the purpose of delay.

To find out why Parnell’s attorney says he shouldn’t get hard time and what usually happens in white collar cases, check out the AJC’s Unofficial Business column on myAJC.com.

Photo by RICK MCKAY/Washington Bureau WASHINGTON...  Stewart Parnell, owner and president of the Peanut Corporation of America, informs the House committee looking into the salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter manufactured by his company that he was asserting his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer any of the committee's questions. Parnell was subpoenaed to appear before the committee.  (Photo by RICK MCKAY/Cox Washington Bureau)  NO MAGS, NO SALES,  ONE TIME USE ONLY, RECEIVER USE ONLY,  EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Stewart Parnell, owner and president of the Peanut Corporation of America, asserted his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer congressional questions in an earlier hearing into  a salmonella outbreak associated with peanut products from his company’s plant in south Georgia. RICK MCKAY/Cox Washington Bureau

Reader Comments 0

5 comments
OriginalProf
OriginalProf

As Bob Dylan, I think it was, sang: "...some kill with a gun, some with a fountain pen...."

Likewise
Likewise

Hey, it's private enterprise.  He's a job creator.  Government is the problem.  Let the market decide who the winners and losers are.

druidhills
druidhills

@Likewise Screw regulations. If it takes a few hundred deaths then people might not buy the product. FREE MARKETT!!!


;)

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Depraved indifference manslaughter. Lock him up.