Lawyer’s ‘severe health crisis’ could complicate Stewart Parnell’s hearing

The authorized skilled who led the protection of Stewart Parnell in his 2014 criminal trial is decided to testify next month about “claims of ineffective help of counsel.” Thomas J. Bondurant Jr. is a weak federal prosecutor and now a companion at Roanoke, VA-primarily based Gentry Locke. He’s amongst the “Finest Lawyers in The usa” for Corporate Compliance Legislation and White Collar Prison Protection. 

Protection attorneys don’t on the complete agree to testify that they offered a weak consumer with ineffective counsel. However that’s what Bondurant plans to realize. Nonetheless, he’ll now be testifying thru video teleconference.

Bondurant, on April 14, informed the attorneys concerned “of a fresh properly being crisis that has resulted in hindered mobility and fatigue, each of which make commute extremely advanced for him.”  The dilapidated protection lawyer is under a “timely subpoena” to seem at Parnell’s Movement 2255 hearing, scheduled for Could perhaps fair 24 in Albany, GA. Bondurant is scheduled to be a peek referring to Parnell’s ineffective counsel claims.

Amy Lee Copeland, Parnell’s authorized skilled for the Movement 2255 hearing, has filed a circulation uncontested by authorities attorneys to enable Bondurant to seem and testify at the evidentiary hearing by video teleconference.

Justice of the Peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff will preside over Movement 2255 hearings for every Stewart Parnell on Could perhaps fair 24 and his brother Michael Parnell on Could perhaps fair 27.  When he granted the 2255 order, Langstaff’s acknowledged: “The law is inconspicuous that, in divulge to be entitled to an evidentiary hearing, a petitioner need most productive verbalize – no longer expose — moderately particular, non-conclusory facts that, if correct, would entitle him to relief.”

Video teleconferencing moreover stays a backup resolution for any COVID concerns that arrive up. Nonetheless, the “in-particular person” hearings must trudge forward in U.S. District Court docket for the Center District of Georgia. The court docket is within the C.B. King Courthouse in Albany, GA.

Parnell became sentenced in 2015 to a 28-year  penal advanced duration of time, which he’s at this time serving at a federal penal advanced in West Virginia. He’ll be returned to the court docket where a jury convicted him in 2014 so the federal magistrate can hear oral arguments on a circulation to vacate his conviction and sentence on grounds he became denied, efficient counsel.

 In September 2019,  Bondurant supported Parnell’s circulation to vacate the conviction and sentence with a declaration, telling a pair of doable juror who acknowledged he wanted to “extract my pound of flesh” from Parnell.

When requested what he’d heard about the case, Bondurant acknowledged that juror answered by asserting: “I possess an ag irrigation dealership, half of that, I’m a third-era peanut farmer in Sumter County. So I have invested thousands of bucks in market promotion and it became tanked. All the pieces we did became washed away. No longer most productive did they endanger younger folks’s lives, but they moreover destroyed our market. I know folks. Y’all kept referring to Lab 1 and Lab 2. I don’t know who Lab 2 is, but I know who Lab 1 is. I heard all about the samples. Of direction, I know all the pieces I read in — I read within the Albany Herald, and I read it in all of our alternate magazines.”

Parnell’s appellate attorneys opinion to camouflage how Georgia’s peanut-increasing counties became antagonistic toward Parnell after PCA poisoned its possibilities and wicked the industry’s reputation. They’ll argue that Parnells’ trial attorneys must have sought a transformation of venue out of the antagonistic territory.

Parnell became indicted on Feb. 15, 2013, about four years after a Salmonella outbreak resulted in by peanut butter and peanut paste produced by Parnell’s Peanut Company of The usa plant poisoned thousands around the nation and resulted in a minimum of seven deaths. Parnell and four other PCA executives or managers had been charged with conspiracy; introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead; introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead; mail fraud; wire fraud; and obstruction of justice.

Following a  jury trial in August and September 2014, Parnell became chanced on responsible of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to introduce adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce, a pair of counts of introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, a pair of counts of Introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce, a pair of counts of mail fraud, a pair of counts of wire fraud, and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Parnell filed a put up-trial circulation for a fresh trial on Oct. 6, 2014, alleging that juror misconduct prejudiced his correct to an even trial. In half,  he alleged that jury contributors talked about salmonella-connected deaths allegedly resulted in by PCA’s merchandise and that Juror 34 showed juror bias.

 The court docket held two hearings, calling in every chosen juror for person questioning at the second hearing. One juror testified that other jurors had conducted their very possess examine over the direction of the trial and chanced on that the defendants “killed nine folks” within the outbreak.

That juror did not ship this alleged misconduct to the attention of any defendant or defendants’ counsel till after the trial had concluded. After a detailed evaluation of juror testimony, the court docket chanced on that “[v]iewing the totality of the circumstances, the court docket finds that there’s not any indication that any juror concealed harbored bias from the court docket or the defendants. . . [and] the court docket finds that the defendants did not point to that any juror did not in fact answer any quiz at some stage in voir dire.”

In regard to whether the jury became uncovered to prejudicial extrinsic recordsdata, the court docket chanced on that three jurors acknowledged that deaths had been talked about within the jury room, but that “the dialogue of deaths arose from a misperception or unsuitable recollection of the trial testimony or proof [that deaths were caused], no longer from the extrinsic source.”

Parnell became sentenced to 28 years in penal advanced, which started when he entered on Sept. 21, 2015.  It’s miles to be adopted by three years of supervised open.

Parnell appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.

On charm, he every other time argued that he became entitled to a fresh trial per the jury’s alleged exposure to extrinsic proof that folks died since the salmonella outbreak, that the district court docket erred in allowing testimony from weak running managers as to industry records, and that the authorities’s proof of loss became no longer sufficiently particular or pleasant.

 The Eleventh Circuit court docket assumed that “a minimum of several of the jurors who sat on the case had been uncovered to extrinsic proof,” but that the extrinsic proof did not affect or make a contribution to the jury verdict. The Eleventh Circuit extra chanced on that the weak running managers had expansive recordsdata from which to testify and that there became no error in admitting this testimony, and that any remand for recalculation of the loss amount became futile and any errors within the district court docket’s calculation had been innocuous.

Within the intervening time, Stewart’s brother Michael, who became moreover convicted of a pair of criminal counts and sentenced to 20 years, is making identical arguments.

“Trial counsel’s failure to investigate and glean in touch with witnesses became no longer a technique but a violation of Sixth Amendment requirements and warrants presentation to the Court docket to make the case of correct how cloth testimony would were,” wrote Charlottesville, VA, authorized skilled Elliott Harding on Michale’s behalf last April.

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