The Latest: Families want stiff sentence for peanut executive at center of salmonella outbreak

Industrials Associated Press

The latest developments in the sentencing of a former peanut company executive convicted in a deadly salmonella outbreak from 2008 and 2009.

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11:40 a.m.

Families of children sickened and adults who died after getting salmonella poisoning from peanut butter are asking a federal judge to deliver a stiff sentence to the executive whose company made the tainted food.

Former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell sat in a Georgia courtroom Monday as nine people testified about the terror and grief their families suffered during a salmonella outbreak traced to the company in 2009.

Jacob Hurley, who was 3 years old when peanut butter crackers made him severely ill, told the judge it would be OK for Parnell "to spend the rest of his life in prison."

Parnell, who was convicted of knowingly shipping contaminated peanut butter and faking results of lab tests, faces up to 803 years in prison.

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7 a.m.

A former peanut executive convicted of shipping tainted food and faking lab tests for contaminants could be sent to prison for life when he's sentenced by a federal judge.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Monday in U.S. District Court in southwest Georgia for 61-year-old Stewart Parnell. The former Peanut Corporation of America owner and two co-defendants were convicted a year ago of crimes linked to a salmonella outbreak blamed for killing nine Americans and sickening 714.

The outbreak led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history and cost Parnell's customers an estimated $144 million.

Judge W. Louis Sands has calculated that Parnell faces up to 803 years in federal prison.

Also facing prison are Parnell's brother, Michael Parnell, and the plant's former quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson.