Parnell Brothers Seeking to Vacate Remaining Sentences through Habeas Corpus Filings


Credit to: USA Today

Peanut Corporation of America was a peanut-processing business which is now defunct as a result of one of the most massive and lethal food-borne contamination events in U.S. history. PCA was founded in 1977 in Lynchburg, VA, and was initially run by Hugh Parnell, father of Stewart Parnell, with him and two other sons. They had run a headquarters operation in Blakely, GA, about 48 miles southwest of Albany.

Brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell were convicted in 2014 by Jury Trial in Albany, GA. 

For multiple felony convictions, Stewart Parnell, age 68, was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison with 15 years remaining. He is now serving time in West Virginia at Hazelton. Michael Parnell, age 64, was sentenced to 20 years with eight years remaining. He is serving out his sentence under federal custody in Fort Dix, NJ. 

Attorneys were quoted as saying "In 2014, Mr. Parnell was convicted of conspiracy, the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce, interstate shipments fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice stemming from a salmonella outbreak tied to PCA. After an unsuccessful direct appeal, United States v. Parnell, 723 Fed. Appx. 745 (11th Cir. 2018), Mr. Parnell now shows that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to move for a change of venue or to strike jurors for cause who knew about allegations of deaths resulting from the salmonella outbreak.

Food Safety News reports: "It was Nov. 10, 2008, when the CDC’s PulseNet staff first noted a small and highly dispersed multistate cluster of 13 Salmonella Typhimurium isolates with an unusual DNA fingerprint or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern reported from 12 states. By April 20, 2009, 714 people in 46 states were confirmed with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium associated with the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) facility in Blakely, GA. Nine deaths were a direct result of the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Notably: The 11th Circuit Court-Middle District (Atlanta) also presides over federal cases in Columbus, GA.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified