Lately in the news, we have seen many people would lie and deceive people and authorities just to walk free from the crimes that they have committed. No matter what kind of criminal act people have done, they want to shorten the years that they have to spend behind bars. Everyone knows that if you are a U.S. military veteran, you will be treated differently in court.
Two men became the subject of news headlines when they pretended to be U.S military veterans so that their criminal cases will be heard in a different court. However, their silly act backfired.
A judge from Montana didn’t make it easy for two defendants who faked their military service. They probably thought that if they can make the judge and the community believes that they are military veterans, their sentences would be lighter. However, the judge caught them lying and made sure that they pay the price.
As an old adage says, ‘Honesty is the best policy.’ It seems like these two men did not learn about that. So to make them pay for their deceitfulness, the judge ordered them to ‘handwrite’ all the names of the Americans that were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is definitely an unusual sentence that was handed down by Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinski.
According to the reports by NBC affiliate, KTVH, the defendants were Ryan Patrick Morris, 28, and Troy Allan Nelson, 33. These two men falsely claimed their military service so that they can bid for Veterans Treatment Court. This is a separate court in the state for veterans who are struggling with addiction or other health issues. The men probably thought that if they lie and make the judge believe that they are veterans, they would get more lenient sentences in this court.
But instead of that, the judge sentenced Morris who is convicted of burglary, to 10 years in prison with three of the years suspended. Nelson, on the other hand, will be behind bars for five years with two years suspended for the case of criminal possession of dangerous drugs. But the judge was not done yet!
He ordered that before they will be released, they should write the names of the 6,756 American service members who died in action while fighting for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense reports, it shows about the same number which is 6,638 military service personnel who were killed in action during these conflicts. During local Memorial and Veterans day ceremonies, they should also wear signs that read:
“I AM A LIAR. I AM NOT A VETERAN. I STOLE VALOR. I DISHONORED ALL VETERANS.”
KTVH reported that the judge also added that once they have served their prison sentences that they should perform 441 hours of community service. Other than that, the judge also ordered for Morris and Nelson to handwrite obituaries for 40 Montanans who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They should also handwrite apology letters to seven veterans’ organizations which includes the American Legion, AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as the Vietnam Veterans of America.