Around Our Area: Convicted peanut company CEO apologizes at sentencing hearing

The federal courthouse in Albany, Ga.

The convicted CEO of a bankrupt peanut company at the center of a nationwide salmonella outbreak apologized in federal court, ahead of sentencing.

“This has been a several year nightmare. Now I stand before you and ask for forgiveness from you and the victims,” Stewart Parnell told the court Monday.

He and two other defendants were convicted for their roles in the outbreak linked to a peanut plant in Blakely, Georgia.

Character witnesses for Stewart Parnell, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, testified on his behalf.

Stewart Parnell, his food broker brother Michael Parnell, and plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were all found guilty in a jury trial that lasted more than six weeks.

Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson were also expected to be sentenced Monday.

Stewart Parnell was convicted on 72 counts of fraud, conspiracy and other federal charges could face up to 803 years in prison.

See pictures from the courthouse at Monday’s sentencing hearing at WALB

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