ALBANY, GA — Stewart Parnell, his hands-free however his wrists hooked up to the chain round his waist and ankles, was again within the federal courthouse Monday, the place a jury practically seven years in the past discovered him responsible of a number of federal meals security crimes.
His reappearance on the C.B. King federal courthouse in Albany, GA, was additionally a little bit of a reunion as Parnell spent the day listening to testimony by three of his protection attorneys from his 2014 trial. One problem is whether or not Parnell was the sufferer of ineffective counsel when he was convicted and sentenced to twenty-eight years in federal jail.
When he went to trial on a number of federal felony fees in 2013, Parnell appeared to have a “dream workforce” for his protection. Amongst them had been former Albany prosecutor and now decide Ken Hodges, not too long ago elected to the Georgia Courtroom of Appeals; former federal prosecutor Thomas J. Bondurant; and Gentry Locke Accomplice E. Scott Austin.
Decide Hodges, Bondurant, and Austin Monday discovered themselves beneath questioning from the “two Amys.” Amy Levin Weil of Atlanta and Amy Lee Copeland of Savannah are unbiased personal observe attorneys. Every was beforehand an assistant U.S. lawyer with a decade of doing appellate work for the federal government.
Decide Hodges testified in particular person whereas Bondurant and Austin participated by the courtroom’s video setup. The evidentiary listening to earlier than Justice of the Peace Decide Thomas Q. Langstaff continues immediately.
A second listening to for Stewart Parnell’s brother Michael Parnell begins on Thursday morning. He’s serving a 20-year sentence for his federal crimes.
Ought to this week’s evidentiary hearings show there was a violation of the Parnells’ constitutional rights, one or each of the brothers may go free.
Stewart Parnell’s appellate attorneys for the Movement 2255 hearings spent the day soliciting as a lot as they might pull out of Hodges, Bondurant, and August about how the protection workforce dealt with two points.
- Why did the workforce not try to transfer the Peanut Company of America felony trial with a change of venue movement?
- And the way was it that the jury ended up making its determination with information of deaths brought on by the 46-state Salmonella outbreak linked to PCA peanut merchandise?
After the jury’s convictions, the trial decide investigated whether or not the jury was tainted as a result of some jurors knew that the Salmonella outbreak induced deaths. The jury knew the Salmonella outbreak might need sicken hundreds, however the decide permitted no point out of the 9 deaths linked to the outbreak.
The trial decide finally dominated the jury wasn’t tainted and was in a position to attain truthful verdicts, and the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals in Atlanta upheld his determination.
Decide Hodges informed the listening to the jury “mentioned info not in proof” as a result of there was no point out in any courtroom testimony concerning the deaths, which did turn into a part of the jury deliberations.
Because the three gave their testimony Monday, it grew to become clear that the protection workforce had its disagreements. Bondurant, retired after three a long time as a high federal prosecutor in Virginia, was new to Gentry-Locke. But, he reportedly employed Hodges on his personal and knowledgeable the others at Gentry-Locke.
Nonetheless, the workforce’s determination to not file a movement for a change of venue meant they misplaced that as an enchantment problem. On the time, the protection workforce thought their largest pre-trial victory was the federal government’s settlement to not produce any proof at trial concerning the Salmonella deaths.
At Monday’s listening to, Stewart was by no means out of the sight of federal brokers, who’re answerable for him throughout his transit from federal jail. Parnell’s household, family of victims of the Salmonella outbreak and attorneys didn’t fill the Justice of the Peace Courtroom, however they had been “shut sufficient.”
Former Gentry-Locke lawyer Justin Lugar is scheduled to seem immediately. He’s now an assistant U.S. Lawyer.
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