This is (part of) the story of one Manson M. Bryant. Mr. Bryant, together with an accomplice, in July of 2018 broke into the trailer of Arturo Gonzalez and proceeded into the man’s bedroom, threatening him with guns, putting a blanket over his head, hitting him and then robbing his home. There was a third accomplice, whose car was used in the crime.
Mr. Bryant was sentenced in 2019 to a total of 28 years.
Wombosi finds this sentence a bit on the high side – as he will show the judge did initially, too – but in general, he has no problem with justice finding pieces of human excrement like Mr. Bryant and dealing with them harshly.
The problem Wombosi has is with the way Mr. Bryant got to first 22 years and then 28 years in prison as his sentence.
Here is a little rundown of the charges:
- Two counts of Aggravated Robbery
- w/ one weapons specification
- Aggravates Burglary
- w/weapons specification
- Carrying a concealed weapoin
- Carrying a weapon while in disability (‘prohibited person’)
Now, as you may have noted, Wombosi’s description of the crime did not include any mention of the man being removed from his home, or even moved from one room to another. The victim was in his bed with a blanket over his head until the robbers left. The reason for what seems like a discrepancy is, that in Ohio both abduction and kidnapping include “restraining” as long as it is done during or in furtherance of a crime, and Mr. Bryant was charged under both for the same crime.
You may also have noted that, even though there was only one crime of entering the victims dwelling and taking some of his belongings, as well as the violence against him. This is the result of the prosecution having charged him under different laws and subsections – lead in by “any of the following” – for the same crime.
Later on the kidnapping and abduction charges where “merged” with the robbery and burglary charges. The final sentence read out initially in the courtroom was as follows:
- Robbery: 8 years
- add 3 year for the weapons
- Burglary: 8 years
- add 3 year for the weapons
- 1.5 years for the concealed gun
- 3 years for the carrying while in disability
The first four charges were to run consecutively, meaning that Mr. Bryant would do 11 years for his crimes and then 11 more years for the same crimes, charged under a different laws/subsections. The last two were to run concurrently, not adding to the total length of his sentence.
You might ask yourself: “But those are only 22 years. How did he get 28?” Well, this is because, Mr. Bryant, who obviously was not happy finding out he would have to spend the next 22 years in jail, had a bit of a falling out with the judge and how he ran his courtroom (starts at 3:05 ; 6:06 for second angle).
So, what do you think. Should it be at the discretion of a judge to add over half a decade to a man’s sentence for disrespecting the judge and the court?
Should it be legal to charge a man twice or three times for the same crime, because separate subsections (“any of…”) apply?
Should it be legal to charge a man twice for the same crime because to entirely separate laws apply to the same action?
Would justice not have been served already with 11 years, for a crime in which nobody was killed and nobody was actually kidnapped or abducted?