Update: PCA President, 3 Others Plead Not Guilty

Update: 4:00 p.m.:

Albany, GA - Four people, including the former president of Lynchburg based Peanut Corporation of America, have pleaded not guilty in connection with a salmonella outbreak.

Stewart Parnell and three other defendants appeared in a federal court in Georgia to enter their pleas Thursday. A US attorney told the court Thursday that Parnell faces up to 754 years in prison and $17 million in fines. His brother Michael is one of the other defendants. The 76 count indictment charges that PCA misled customers about salmonella being in its product, even when lab tests came up positive.

Nine people died and hundreds more got sick during the 2009 outbreak. Stewart Parnell was released on $100,000 bond.


ALBANY, GA. (AP) -- Four people charged in connection with a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds are set to appear in federal court in south Georgia.

The federal indictment unsealed last week accuses the former employees of the Peanut Corporation of America with scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts. The four are scheduled to appear Thursday morning in federal court in Albany.

The 76-count indictment charges company owner Stewart Parnell, his food broker brother Michael Parnell and Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.

Stewart Parnell, Lightsey and Georgia plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were also charged with obstruction of justice.