The U.S. v. Paul Cruise trial in Austin, Texas, has been adjourned over the weekend. It will resume at 8.30am on Monday, when the jury may resume deliberations.
The jury consisted of 12 men and 4 women, including four alternates. It was tasked with deciding whether Kruse, 67, was guilty of conspiracy and fraud.
He is the retired president of Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, Texas.
A trial is underway in Austin’s Western District Court, which begins Aug. 1 and is selected by a jury. The court warned jurors that the trial could last four weeks, but testimony took only about six days.
Federal Judge Robert Pitman quarantined the jury for a third day on Friday over charges against the former owner of the iconic Bluebell ice cream brand.
Pittman “ordered the jury to be sequestered for the duration of their deliberations, from their reporting to the jury room to their daily release from the jury room until their eventual release by the court.”
The jury will continue its third day of work on Monday.
“While the jury remains together and is not allowed to be separated, the jury’s living expenses, including the cost of coffee and other necessities incurred by the jury during recess, in accordance with the order of the judge, shall be paid by the U.S. government,” according to the judge’s order.
Kruse, who served as president of Blue Bell Creameries until 2017, is currently facing federal felony charges of conspiracy and fraud to conceal some information about the 2015 listeriosis outbreak. 10 became ill and 3 died.
10 confirmed patients from four states – Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1) and Texas (3), were Infected and Needed
During the 60+ day Blue Bell crisis in 2015, Cruise eventually recalled all of his company’s products and closed Texas, Oklahoma and all production facilities in Alabama.
But Cruise wasn’t moving fast enough for government prosecutors, who say it took too long to disclose listeriosis issues from clients and the public.
Through a “retrospective review,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that isolates collected from Blue Bell ice cream matched onset dates from 2010 to 2014. Listeriosis is a factor that suggests this all happened before Blue Bell knew of the outbreak in early 2015.
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