Peanut boss in Georgia salmonella case could spend life in prison

Stewart Parnell is about to find out whether intentionally selling salmonella-tainted food will put him in prison for the rest of his life.

You might remember him as the owner and president of the now defunct Peanut Corporation of America. When told that a delivery of food from his South Georgia plant might be delayed by waiting for lab safety test results, Parnell replied in an email: “Just ship it. I can’t afford to (lose) another customer.”

A jury found him guilty on dozens of counts in what could become a watershed case in food safety. His sentencing hearing starts Monday.

But one of Parnell's attorneys told the AJC a long prison sentence will serve no good purpose: "He can't do any harm to society."