Final minute plan to mix hearings for former peanut executives quashed by Justice of the Peace

Beginning this morning in federal court docket in Albany, GA, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell are getting the week to make collateral assaults on their jail sentences with back-to-back evidentiary hearings on their 2255 Motions.

Federal Justice of the Peace Thomas Q. Langstaff on Friday ordered consecutive, not concurrent, hearings. And that was at all times the plan. However on Friday, the legal professionals tossed in a movement to U.S. Courtroom for the Center District of Georgia requesting consolidation of the 2 evidentiary hearings.

“The Petitioners have been tried as co-defendants and co-conspirators at a joint trial on this Courtroom, they usually increase two claims regarding their respective counsels’ failure to maneuver for a change of venue and failure to maneuver to strike jurors for trigger,” the joint listening to movement stated.

The ink on the movement, nevertheless, was barely dry Friday when Choose Langstaff flatly denied it. He had his causes. The petitions are nearly two years outdated; the evidentiary hearings have been scheduled for 3 months and rescheduled as soon as to accommodate counsel and petitioners’ witnesses.

“The ineffective help of counsel points raised on this petition and within the petition of the co-defendant are separate and distinct, as every Petitioner was represented by separate counsel at trial, and Petitioner Michael Parnell raises further grounds for reduction,” the decide wrote.

“Petitioner Stewart Parnell seeks so as to add the testimony of an skilled witness, whereas Petitioner Michael Parnell doesn’t. The Courtroom has not dominated on whether or not the skilled will probably be allowed to testify. However, Petitioner Stewart Parnell’s movement so as to add the testimony of an skilled witness might trigger a potential continuation of Petitioner Stewart Parnell’s evidentiary listening to and delay the disposition of Petitioner Stewart Parnell’s § 2255 Movement for months. Petitioner Michael Parnell’s petition might be resolved sooner, with a briefing schedule to be set on the finish of his evidentiary listening to on Could 28, 2021.

“The Courtroom believes that essentially the most related testimony in these evidentiary hearings will come from the respective events’ trial counsel. These people would be the key witnesses, and there’s no overlap between the respective trial counsel on this regard,” Langstaff wrote.

In accordance with the denial order, the Justice of the Peace’s courtroom is smaller than different courtrooms in Albany’s C.B. King Courthouse, elevating issues about pandemic distancing and safety.

Stewart Parnell’s listening to, starting at 9 a.m. as we speak, is predicted to take two to 3 days. Michael Parnell’s listening to is taking as much as two days, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. Langstaff’s order directs the federal government that Michael is to not seem in his courtroom till the beginning of the second listening to on Could 27.

Michael Parnell’s lawyer, Elliott M. Harding; Stewart Parnell’s attorneys, Amy Levin Weil and Amy Lee Copeland; and the counsel for america, Speare I. Hodges, signed the movement to affix the hearings.

Judges typically associate with motions which are agreed to by each protection and prosecution. The court docket docket doesn’t comprise any point out of a joint listening to till Friday.

Michael Parnell picked up a brand new lawyer on Could 19. Richmond protection lawyer William J. Dinkin will probably be helping Harding when the second listening to begins on Thursday.

Stewart Parnell, 66, and Michael Parnell, 62, search post-conviction reduction within the evidentiary hearings over their 2255 motions. They have been convicted in 2014 by a federal jury in Albany for a number of felonies related to a lethal 46-state Salmonella outbreak.

In 2015, the trial decide sentenced Stewart Parnell to twenty-eight years in federal jail, and Michael Parnell obtained 20 years. The appellate court docket upheld their convictions and sentences.

The outbreak was related to a peanut processing plant situated in Blakely, GA, operated by the Parnell-owned Peanut Company of America. Hundreds have been sickened by 9 died from contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste from the ability.

Stewart Parnell was PCA’s chief govt, and Micheal Parnell labored with its prospects as a peanut dealer. At trial, PCA was proven to be a reckless firm that may ship peanut merchandise that examined optimistic for harmful pathogens.

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