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May 12, 2010

A failed effort to fake past military service to get a lenient federal sentence

This local article from Vermont, which is headlined "Phony military records surface in Burlington drug sentencing" reports on a remarkable federal sentencing proceeding from earlier this week.  Here are the details:

Leniency in sentencing was denied Monday to a Burlington man convicted of dealing marijuana after federal prosecutors determined he had invented a Vietnam-era Marine Corps career to deceive his probation officer.

Chief U.S. District Judge William Sessions III called claims made by Kimball Manning, 64, outrageous and incredible before sentencing him to 4 1/2 years in prison.

Manning and his wife, Heather Wick Manning, 39, both of whom were indicted in June for trafficking drugs and pleaded guilty in February, were arrested again in March and accused of selling multiple pounds of marijuana while awaiting sentencing for the first offense, Sessions said.  Those allegations are pending in state court -- and they led to the revocation of the couple's pre-sentence release in the federal case.

Sessions granted Heather Wick Manning, who appeared in court Monday after her husband, a delay in sentencing until November, citing the woman's diagnosis with a severe bipolar disorder and her strong family support. Sessions will decide at a May 17 hearing whether she will be released to live under supervision with her mother.

New "non-incarcerative" sentencing guidelines come into effect Nov. 1 that would be ideal for her case, Sessions said.   "In effect, she would be sentenced to treatment," he said.

Kimball Manning's probation officer alerted prosecutors to calendar overlaps between military records and those from Goddard College, which show he was a student at the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Creswell said.  U.S. military records official Jeffrey Shattuck, a former Marine, testified Monday that he could find no evidence Kimball Manning served in the Marines, or in any other branch of the military.

At first glance, Manning's typewritten discharge papers appeared convincing, Shattuck said, but they contained close to a dozen errors that "just didn't add up."...  Kimball Manning's attorney, Mark Kaplan, said his client needed "significant mental-health counseling."

May 12, 2010 at 02:29 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"a delay in sentencing until November"

In reality, the Court need not wait until November and could implement the Commission's most recent views via a 3553(a) analysis. If she is not in custody pending sentencing, however, I guess there is no harm in waiting.

Posted by: DEJ | May 12, 2010 11:21:12 AM

Another example of the importance of a detailed, comprehensive, presentence investigation by a diligent US Probation officer.

The comments of defense counsel that his client needs "mental health counseling" are predictable and laughable. His client knew exactly what he was doing-attempting to capitalize on growing sentiment that war veterans deserve a break at sentencing.

Posted by: mjs | May 12, 2010 11:22:14 AM

mjs --

Exactly.

Here we have a druggie defendant forging service records and presenting them to the court. This suggests the shocking -- SHOCKING -- conclusion that defendants fake a sympathetic past in order to scam the judge.

What a surprise!!!

This hoodlum needs mental health counseling like I need to be marooned on a desert island with Lynne Stewart. What he actually needs he unfortunately can no longer get: parents who will teach him that you don't lie.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 12, 2010 4:49:51 PM

I understand this scam. A con running his con.

I would appreciate a plausible explanation why military service, other superior positions and achievements should result not in mitigation, but in enhancement of sentencing. A military trained sniper kills out of anger. Why should he not get greater punishment for his betrayal of the investment and trust placed in him when he acquired special skills at taxpayer expense?

Leona Helmsley, so poorly served by her defense dumbasses, pled to the judge, I paid $billions in taxes. This $4 million tax conviction should not result in prison time because of past contributions to the tax treasury. The judge gave her a sentence that anyone else evading $4 million in taxes would have gotten. How is that analogous argument of prior benefit to the government different from that of military service?

Here is the hidden political agenda. Bush's war caused a derangement resulting in a crime. The crime of a veteran is the fault of Bush, these judges are saying. This is Blame Bush scapegoating by left wing ideologues.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 12, 2010 9:44:13 PM

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