One of the main defendants in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) trial has surrendered to federal prison, according to reports.
Forty-two year old Mary Wilkerson--PCA’s former quality assurance manager who was convicted for obstructing justice--was sentenced to 5 years in prison in September for her lying to investigators about shipments of Salmonella tainted peanut butter. The product lead to a widespread outbreak that caused 9 deaths and sickened at least 700 others in 2008 and 2009.
Initially, the mother of two remained free on $25,000 bond immediately following her sentencing while the Bureau of Prisons assigned her to a specific prison facility. Now, she has surrendered to a federal correctional facility in Marianna, FL. Although the prison is a medium-security facility for men, the campus does house women at a minimum-security location nearby where Wilkerson will stay.
In September, former PCA owner Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison--the heftiest punishment of all defendants in the case--for knowingly approving shipments of the contaminated peanut butter. His brother, Michael Parnell, will serve 20 years. Two co-defendants--Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore--both former plant managers at PCA--were ordered to serve 72 months (6 years) and 36 months (3 years) respectively.
Wilkerson’s 5 year sentence will be followed by 2 years of supervised probation.
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