Three further witnesses will possible testify at Stewart Parnell’s listening to subsequent Monday to vacate his convictions and sentencing associated to a number of federal felonies stemming from a lethal 2008 Salmonella outbreak.
The requested further witnesses are: Denise de la Rue, a trial advisor, and strategist; James “Jay” Strother, peanut dealer with James Strother and Firm LLC; and John T. Powell, government director for the American Peanut Shellers Affiliation.
Amy Levin Weil of Atlanta, and Amy Lee Copeland of Savannah, attorneys representing Parnell within the Movement 2255 listening to, mentioned their “intense preparation” led them to the three further witnesses “to offer testimony in help of the petition” to vacate.
Parnell’s unique witness checklist submitted on Could 3 contained the names of 4 attorneys who defended him in his 2014 jury trial — E. Scott Austin, Thomas J. Bondurant, Justin Luger and Ken Hodges.
The court docket is allowing Bondurant to testify by video convention due to well being issues. Bondurant, Austin and Luger from the Gentry Locke legislation agency in Roanoke offered the core of Parnell’s protection, together with Hodges, then an Atlanta lawyer.
Lugar is now an assistant U.S. Legal professional for Virginia, and Hodges is a choose on the Georgia Court docket of Appeals.
Justice of the Peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff has ordered the federal government to reply to Parnell’s movement so as to add witnesses by shut of enterprise at present (Could 18). Langstaff is presiding over the Stewart Parnell listening to that begins on Could 24 and a second listening to for his brother Michael Parnell that begins on Could 27.
Weil and Copeland say the three further witnesses they’ve recognized “will present crucial testimony” to help Stewart Parnell’s movement to vacate. In court docket paperwork, they are saying de la Rue “has not been engaged,” and Strother and Powell weren’t recognized earlier than Could 3.
Parnell’s attorneys argue that including three further witnesses 10 days earlier than the listening to is an affordable request.
Parnell’s attorneys have obtained the choose’s permission for entry to voir dire transcripts from the 2014 jury choice in different pre-hearing motion. That permission was first granted to Michael Parnell’s lawyer to be used in his listening to subsequent week.
The attorneys have agreed to destroy all copies of the jury choice proceedings when the Movement 2255 proceedings are full.
Each hearings are being held subsequent week on the federal courthouse in Albany, GA.
A jury in 2014 in that very same courthouse convicted the Parnell brothers of a number of federal felonies stemming from the lethal 2008 multistate Salmonella outbreak.
A Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant owned and operated by the now-defunct Peanut Company of America was the supply of the 46-state outbreak leading to lots of of sicknesses and 9 deaths.
Stewart Parnell on the time was PCA’s chief government, and Michael Parnell was his peanut dealer brother.
They’re difficult their incarceration after serving about six years of the sentences they acquired in 2015 — 28 years for Stewart and 20 years for Michael.
If one or each brothers could make a “substantial exhibiting of the denial of a constitutional proper at subsequent week’s hearings,” they may go free.
Stewart Parnell, 66, and Michael Parnell, 62, should not at present within the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, possible as a result of they’re in transit by federal Marshals to Albany, GA, for his or her court docket appearances. They’ve been held individually at federal prisons in West Virginia and New Jersey.
Court docket paperwork present that Stewart Parnell’s attorneys will argue their consumer was denied efficient counsel at and across the unique trial. Arguments round ineffective counsel are widespread in Movement 2255 hearings.
At his listening to, Michael Parnell can be represented by Charlottesville, VA, protection lawyer Elliott M Harding. Harding, who practices solo, was the primary to win the appropriate to make use of the voir dire transcripts from the jury choice for the 2014 trial.
“The voir dire transcripts shall stay confidential, with the data therein reviewed solely by counsel, their authorized and help workers, and the events,” Langstaff’s order says. “The voir dire transcripts and the data contained herein shall solely be used for functions related to the decision of this pending 2255 Movement.”
In breaking these transcripts free, Harding reminded the Justice of the Peace about Michael Parnell’s Movement 2255 petition. “Three of the issues raised in Mr. Parnell’s petition concern jury prejudice,” he mentioned. “Mr. Parnell’s first declare entails trial counsel’s failure to strike jurors for trigger on account of their data of deaths that have been reportedly the results of meals contamination by way of salmonella. A 3rd declare entails trial counsel’s failure to research the difficulty of whether or not jurors have been improperly prejudiced by the revelation of deaths involving salmonella as soon as counsel was made conscious of this allegation post-trial.”
Langstaff has served because the Justice of the Peace Decide for Georgia’s Center District of the Federal Court docket system since 2010. He dealt with some pre-trial points within the PCA prison case. He additionally dominated that the Movement 2255 petitions filed by the Parnells have been adequate to go to a listening to.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in Atlanta, utilizing PulseNet on Nov. 10, 2008, found a small and extremely dispersed cluster of 13 Salmonella Typhimurium isolates with an uncommon DNA fingerprint pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) sample in 12 states.
By April 20, 2009, a minimum of 714 individuals in 46 states have been confirmed with an outbreak pressure of Salmonella Typhimurium related to the PCA facility Blakely, GA. 1000’s of others have been possible sickened with out affirmation.
Mary M. Englehart, trial lawyer for the Division of Justice Shopper Safety Department, can be returning to Albany for the Movement 2255 hearings. Together with Patrick Hearn and Alan Dasher, she was a part of the U.S. Division of Justice trio of attorneys that received the convictions on the 2014 jury trial.
This time, Englehart will symbolize the federal government with Speare I. Hodges, one other DOJ Shopper Safety Department lawyer.
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