ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ A defense attorney grilled a key prosecution witness in the trial of three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak. Attorney Tom Bondurant on Tuesday questioned Samuel Lightsey, the former manager of a Peanut Corporation of America plant in southwest Georgia. Former company owner Stewart Parnell ran the company from his Lynchburg, Virginia area home.
Parnell and his brother, food broker Michael Parnell, are accused of shipping tainted products and covering up positive salmonella tests. Stewart Parnell and former plant quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, face charges of obstructing justice. Bondurant, a lawyer for Stewart Parnell, stressed that Lightsey, who was also charged, reached an agreement with prosecutors to testify and that it’s to his advantage for prosecutors to get a conviction. Bondurant also sought to demonstrate that Stewart Parnell gave Lightsey considerable authority over the Georgia plant.
Staff writer Velvet Hall contributed to this report.