3 found guilty in salmonella trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

3 found guilty in salmonella trial

The federal courthouse in Albany, GA The federal courthouse in Albany, GA
Defendant Michael Parnell (in white shirt) Defendant Michael Parnell (in white shirt)
Defendant Stewart Parnell (in pink shirt) Defendant Stewart Parnell (in pink shirt)
Mary Wilkerson leaves court with her lawyer Mary Wilkerson leaves court with her lawyer
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts for three people charged in the trial of a deadly salmonella outbreak five years ago linked to a peanut plant in Georgia.

Former Peanut Corporation owner Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson have been on trial since August 1.

Stewart Parnell was found guilty on nearly every count in a 76-count indictment, including conspiracy, the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead, introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud of mislead, interstate shipments fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction.

His food broker brother Michael Parnell was also found guilty of conspiracy, the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead, introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud of mislead, and interstate shipments fraud.

Quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson was found guilty of one count of obstruction, and not guilty on a second count.

The verdict comes after jurors began their second full day of deliberations Friday at the federal courthouse in Albany.

Sentencing will take place on a later date.

MORE: After the verdict - Reactions to the salmonella trial

Prosecutors questioned witnesses for weeks during testimony, including Food and Drug Administration inspectors and a former manager of the plant, located in Blakely, GA.

Stewart Parnell and Michael Parnell, and Georgia plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were indicted in February 2013, charged with shipping salmonella tainted peanuts and covering up lab results showing the nuts tested positive for the bacteria.

Stewart Parnell and his brother Michael were charged with knowingly shipping the salmonella products and covering up lab results.

Former plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson was charged with obstruction of justice.

Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened in the outbreak five years ago.

The verdicts on the complete charges are listed below:

Count 1: Conspiracy

Michael - guilty

Stewart- guilty

Count 2: Conspiracy

Michael - guilty

Stewart - guilty

Counts 3- 22: Introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead

Counts 3-22:

Stewart- guilty

Counts 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21: Michael found not guilty (He did not face all the counts Stewart did)

Counts 23-35: Introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead.

Counts 23-35:

Stewart- guilty

Counts 23-30, 32, 33, 34, 35:

Michael- guilty.

Counts 36-55: Interstate shipments fraud

Counts 36-55:

Stewart- guilty

Counts 36, 39-43, 47, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54:

Michael is guilty

Counts 56-67: Wire fraud

Counts 56-59- Stewart is guilty

Count 60 - Stewart is not guilty

Counts 62-67 - Stewart is guilty

Count 56, 58, 59, 61, 67: Michael is guilty

Counts 68-76: Obstruction of justice

Count 68: Stewart is guilty

Count 72: Stewart is Guilty

Count 73: Mary Wilkerson is guilty

Count 76: Mary Wilkerson is not guilty

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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