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Trial in salmonella outbreak that killed 9, sickened hundreds begins in south Georgia

ALBANY, Ga. - Jury selection is underway in the trial for three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak traced to a southwest Georgia peanut plant five years ago.

Jury selection began Monday in federal court in Albany in the trial of former Peanut Company of America owner Stewart Parnell; his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell; and the peanut plant's quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson.

The Parnell brothers and Wilkerson were indicted last year on 76 criminal counts that accused them of shipping tainted peanuts to industrial food customers and covering up lab tests that showed some batches of nuts tested positive for salmonella. Stewart Parnell and Wilkerson also were charged with obstruction of justice.

Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey also was charged and pleaded guilty in May to seven criminal counts.

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