Former owner and CEO of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), Stewart Parnell, has been sentenced to 28 years behind bars for a number of criminal charges related to knowingly shipping salmonella-tainted peanut products that was responsible for a large outbreak in 2008-2009.

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons
Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

In addition to Parnell, his brother, Michael Parnell got 20 years and former quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, was sentenced to 5 years in a federal women’s prison.

When all was said and done in early 2009, 714 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium were been reported from 46 states, including nine deaths linked to PCA products.

Foodborne illness lawyer, Bill Marler, wrote in a blog post yesterday after the sentencing was announced:

Today justice was served – Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison, his brother Michael 20 years and an employee, Mary Wilkerson to 5 years. They knowingly shipped Salmonella-tainted peanuts that sickened 714 and killed nine in 2009.

Defense attorney Tom Bondurant said 28 years in prison would be a life sentence for 61-year-old Parnell. Parnell and his two co-defendants plan to appeal.