Judge separates charges in slaughterhouse case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A federal judge in Cedar Rapids has granted a motion to sever immigration charges from financial charges against a former kosher meatpacking plant manager, ruling that a united case would prejudice the jury.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade issued her ruling Thursday in the case against Agriprocessors Inc. and former company official Sholom Rubashkin.
Attorneys for the Postville company and Rubashkin argued that presenting all of the 142 charges at once would confuse a jury and make it difficult for the defendants to get a fair trial.
Reade agreed, saying it would be a monumental task for a jury to keep all the counts straight.
Guy Cook, an attorney for Rubashkin, calls Reade's ruling a major victory for his client.