For false military claims, men in Montana receive a written assignment


GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) – Two Montana men sentenced to prison for breaking probation in separate crimes will not be eligible for parole until they have completed their mission. Writing, as they falsely claimed to have served in the army to have their case. moved to a veterans court.

Justice Greg Pinski of Cascade County District sentenced Ryan Patrick Morris, 28, and Troy Allan Nelson, 33. Morris was sentenced to 10 years in prison for breaching probation for burglary, while Nelson was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of drugs. Pinski suspended three years of the sentence of each accused.

Prior to being released on parole, Pinski ordered the two men to write by hand the names of the 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; write the obituaries of the 40 Montanais killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and send handwritten apology letters to several groups of veterans identifying that they lied about military service to receive help and possibly a lighter sentence through a veterans court.

Veterans Court programs create and oversee treatment plans to deal with crimes that may be caused by service-related post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anger problems or substance abuse.

"I want to make sure my message is received loud and clear by these two accused," Pinski said Friday.

Morris claimed in 2016 that he had made seven rounds of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, that he was suffering from PTSD and that he had been replaced at the hip after being injured by an explosive device. improvised. He was sentenced to perform 441 hours of community service with a veterans organization – one for every Montanan killed in action since the Korean War. The court records indicated that he had completed only 10 hours.

Nelson managed to register at the Veterans Treatment Court before he was determined he had not served in the military, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Once released from prison, they must complete 441 hours of community service.

Pinski also ordered the accused to appear at the Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls for eight hours each day remembrance and Veterans Day, with a sign saying, "I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I've stolen courage. I have dishonored all the veterans.

The lawyers of the two men objected to the state of the sign.

Lawyer Mark Frisbie said his client had not been accused of stolen valor, which is a federal crime, but punished for it.

Pinski said that he punished men for lying to the court. He also cited decisions of the Montana Supreme Court that gave him the discretion to consider stolen valor and others who met the posting requirements.

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