Former peanut executive gets 28 years in prison for role in deadly salmonella outbreak

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this March 12, 2009, file photo, Peanut Corporation of America's president Stewart Parnell arrives a federal court in Lynchburg, Va. Parnell's family asked a federal judge in Albany, Ga., on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, to show mercy when ... sentencing him for his role in a deadly salmonella outbreak from 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile, victims' families have asked the judge to deliver a stiff sentence. (AP Photo/Don Petersen, File) (The Associated Press)

On his way to federal prison, perhaps for the rest of his life, former peanut executive Stewart Parnell has said he's sorry for the hundreds who became ill and nine people who died after eating his company's peanut butter.

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The former Peanut Corporation of America owner was sentenced to 28 years in prison Monday by a federal judge. Parnell was convicted a year ago of knowingly shipping peanut butter tainted with salmonella and for faking results of lab tests intended to screen for contaminants.

Parnell had stayed publicly silent since the outbreak was traced to his Georgia plant in early 2009. But Monday he told a courtroom filled with victims and their families, "I'm truly sorry."

Ernest Carter, whose grandmother died in the outbreak, called the apology "too little, too late."