Albany, Ga. • The trial of three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to a southwest Georgia peanut plant could keep jurors tied up for more than two months, the trial judge said Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands told several dozen people called for jury duty that prosecutors alone may need eight weeks to present evidence at the trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell, his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell, and the peanut plant's quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson. The case could go much longer, depending on how many witnesses defense attorneys call.
The three defendants are charged with shipping tainted peanuts and covering up lab tests that were positive for salmonella. After three full days of jury selection that began Monday, prosecutors and defense attorneys were scheduled to pick a final panel Thursday morning before delivering opening statements in the case.