In Broken Arrow, OK, Blue Bell Creamery is serving up all-you-can-eat ice cream for the 20th Annual Summer Food Festival. A 13-year-old North Texas girl inspired Blue Bell for a new summer flavor.
Blue Bell has been making news all summer, but there has been little news about the criminal trial of its former president starting a week in Austin.
In Texas and beyond, Blue Bell celebrates primarily with those new flavors, support for local festivities, and July being National Ice Cream Month.
But U.S. States v. Paul Kruse caught the attention of those reporting jury duty in the Western District Court of Austin notice next Monday. Blue Bell dominates the market in West Texas, and the court plans to have juries in those counties.
Judge Robert Pittman held a possible final pretrial hearing with attorneys on Friday. The court did not release minutes of the meeting. Court documents appear to show that Pitman did make decisions on at least three Motions in Limine.
According to the Law Dictionary, a motion in a limine is a motion made to the court before a jury is selected. Whether it is a civil case or a criminal case.
The pending motion asks the court to order the opposing party, its attorneys and witnesses not to talk about or even mention certain facts or evidence in the presence of a jury or at a hearing.
If the motion is granted, no one may bring these facts without the leave of the court, and must do so in the absence of a jury. To explore this concept, consider the following motion in the time-limited definition.
In this case, Cruise’s defense attorneys want to prevent the government from presenting evidence or arguments that Bluebell should have recalled ice cream sooner or caused more widespread damage than during the 2015 listeriosis outbreak. 3 people died and 10 others became very ill.
The defense also wishes to remove certain information about Bell’s health issues from the trial documents. Pre-trial questions about some of the details of the jury order were also contested going into court.
As for the 13-year-old girl who came up with the new bluebell flavor, it was drinking the strawberry lemonade she came up with. Strawberry ice cream and lemonade sorbet are new flavors
She wrote bluebells as part of a class project, she thought, never thought they would be implemented. But they did it.
A federal grand jury indicts Cruise in 2020 after a five-year investigation.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin “ruled that United States v. Cruise is a complex criminal case.”
As a corporate entity, Blue Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing adulterated food products in violation of federal food, drug and cosmetic laws in a related case in 2020.
The company agreed to pay criminal fines totaling $17.5 million and $2.1 million to resolve False Claims Act claims made in unsanitary conditions and sold to federal agencies, including the military The agency’s ice cream product allegations. A total of $19.35 million in fines, forfeitures and civil settlements was the second largest amount paid to resolve food safety issues.
Cruise is the only individual to face criminal charges for the 2015 outbreak.
Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, Texas, 1907 Founded and today produces Blue Bell Ice Cream, an iconic Texas brand.
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