Kruse’s trial begins Monday with jury selection


In Broken Arrow, OK, Blue Bell Creamery provided unlimited ice cream for the 20th annual Taste of Summer festival. And a 13-year-old girl from North Texas gave Blue Bell the inspiration for one of its new summer flavors.

Blue Bell has been in the news all summer, but almost none of it is devoted to its former chairman’s criminal trial, which begins a week in Austin.

Throughout Texas and beyond, Blue Bell is primarily celebrated for these new flavors, its support of local celebrations, and July as National Ice Cream Month.

But the United States v. Paul Kruse case is attracting the attention of those who have been notified by the Western Austin District Court to appear for jury duty next Monday. Blue Bell dominates the market in West Texas counties where the court plans to sit its jury.

Judge Robert Pitman held the likely final preliminary hearing with attorneys last Friday. The court did not publish the registration documents in the minutes of this session. Court documents appear to show Pitman made decisions on at least three motions in limine.

According to the legal dictionary, A movement in limine is a motion presented to the court before a jury has been selected in a civil or criminal case.

Movements In eliminates asking the court to prohibit the opposing party, his lawyer and witnesses from speaking, or even mentioning, certain facts or evidence in the presence or hearing of the jury.

If the request is granted, no one is authorized to evoke these facts without having first obtained the authorization of the court, which must be requested without the presence of the jury. To explore this concept, consider the following motion in the limine definition.

In this case, Kruse’s defense attorneys want to block the government from presenting evidence or arguments that Blue Bell should have recalled ice cream earlier or more widely than it did during an outbreak. of listeriosis in 2015 which killed three people and made 10 others very sick.

The defense also wants to remove certain information about the sanitation problems at Bell Bell from the trial documents. Pre-trial issues regarding certain details of the jury instructions are also being contested before trial.

As for this 13-year-old girl who imagined a new Blue Bell flavor, it was while drinking a strawberry lemonade that she imagined it. Strawberry ice cream swirled with lemonade sorbet is the new flavor

She wrote Blue Bell as a class project with her idea, never thinking they would implement it. But they did.

A federal grand jury indicted Kruse in 2020 after a five-year investigation.

The Austin-based federal court for the Western District of Texas “considers the United States v. Kruse case to be a complex criminal case.”

As a corporation, Blue Bell pleaded guilty in a related case in 2020 to two counts of distributing adulterated food products in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The company has agreed to pay criminal penalties totaling $17.5 million and $2.1 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations regarding ice cream products produced under unsanitary conditions and sold to federal facilities, including the army. The total of $19.35 million in fines, forfeitures and civil settlements was the second highest amount ever paid to address a food safety issue.

Kruse is the only person to face criminal charges due to the 2015 outbreak.

Blue Bell Creameries, founded in 1907 in Brenham, TX, today produces Blue Bell Ice Cream, an iconic Texas brand.

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