Judge Hands Out Creative Sentence For 2-Men Who Lied About Military Service

Montana’s Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinski came down hard on two men who falsely claimed to the court that they’d served in the military.

Ryan Patrick Morris, 28, and Troy Allan Nelson, 33, were both before Pinski for violating the terms of their deferred or suspended sentences in two separate, unrelated cases.

Morris claimed in court that he'd done seven combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered from combat-related post-traumatic stress after being injured by an improvised explosive device, or IED.

During the hearing, Pinski focused on the two men’s lies about their military service, pointing out that Nelson had even managed to get himself enrolled in Veterans Treatment Court.

Neither man was officially charged with stolen valor, which is a federal crime.

For their original charges, Nelson was sentenced to 5 years in the Montana State Prison, with 2 years suspended.

For the original charge of felony burglary, Morris was sentenced to the Montana State Prison for 10 years, with 3 suspended.

Both defendants received the following conditions in order to be eligible for parole:
·Personally hand-write the names of all 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
·Personally hand-write the obituaries of the 40 Montanans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
·Personally hand-write letters of apology identifying themselves as having lied about military service to the American Legion, AMVETS, the Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
He also assigned both men 441 hours of community service, one hour for each of the Montanans killed in combat since the Korean War.
In addition, Pinski mandated that every year during the suspended portions of each of their sentences, both men must stand at the Montana Veterans Memorial for eight hours on each Memorial and Veterans Day wearing a placard that reads, “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I have dishonored all veterans.”

Judge Pinski told them “I want to make sure that my message is received loud and clear by these two defendants.You’ve been nothing but disrespectful in your conduct. You certainly have not respected the Army. You’ve not respected the veterans. You’ve not respected the court. And you haven’t respected yourselves.”

Michael Berry

Michael Berry

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