The Gangfighters Network is an organization designed to bridge the gap between academia and the criminal justice professions. For more information, visit http://www.gangfighters.net/ and http://www.gangsinthemilitary.com/ The focus is on gangs, initially adult gangs as it appears they have been ignored or absorbed into the mainstream society. There's a special focus on gang members in the military.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Soldier gets 19 years in killingJudge gives midrange sentence to man with role in murder of comrade
A federal judge sentenced a Fort Lewis soldier to 19 years in prison Tuesday for setting in motion a series of events that led to the murder of his former Army buddy.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton told Michael Antonio Jordan he bore responsibility for the death of Christopher Jerry, even though it was another man who fired the gun that killed him.
“A buddy, or a former buddy, is dead, and it’s because of you,” Leighton said during Jordan’s sentencing hearing at Tacoma’s federal courthouse. “You’re going to have to live with that for the rest of your life, sir.”
Jordan, 21, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of kidnapping that led to a death.
Federal prosecutors contend Jordan orchestrated the kidnapping of Jerry, his former roommate, the night of Aug. 30, 2005. Jordan intended to recover $1,500 he loaned Jerry, prosecutors said.
After he and others beat Jerry at a remote area of Fox Island, Jordan drove Jerry to Lakewood. Once there, Jordan enlisted help from members of a violent street gang in dealing with Jerry, according to court documents.
One of them, Thomas Evans Dunigan, made a plan to kill the 22-year-old man, a plan that gang member Markus Moore later carried out near a fence surrounding Fort Lewis.
Moore was sentenced last month to 29 years in prison for shooting Jerry. Dunigan was sentenced last month to 20 years for his role in the murder.
Jordan’s lawyer, Charles Johnson of Tacoma, told Leighton on Tuesday that Jordan deserved a sentence of 16 years, saying his client was an Iraq war veteran with no criminal history.
Jordan joined the Army at 16 to escape a life of gangs and crime but made poor judgments the night of Aug. 30 and the early-morning hours of Aug. 31, 2005, Johnson said. Diagnosed mental health issues played a role in Jordan’s decision-making, his attorney said.
Federal prosecutor Gregory Gruber argued that Jordan should get at least the same sentence Dunigan received.
While Jordan served honorably in Iraq, he betrayed the loyalty of a fellow soldier when he turned Jerry over to men who he knew to be violent gang members, essentially signing his death warrant, Gruber said.
“Who should value life more than a soldier who has seen death?” the prosecutor told Leighton. “None of this would have happened without Mr. Jordan.”
Given a second chance to address the court, Johnson countered that Gruber was unfairly using Jordan’s military service against him.
“He tried to make something of his life, and they want to punish him for it,” Johnson said.
Jordan declined the opportunity to speak on his own behalf.
Leighton then decided on a midrange sentence for Jordan, who faced 16 to 22 years under sentencing guidelines.
“You assembled the cast of characters,” the judge said. “You set it all in motion.”
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644
- ► 2010 (13)
- ► 2009 (24)
- ► 2008 (26)
- After Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Left D...
- Are Gang Members Using Military Training?
- Gang activity more common in military
- Exclusive: Gangs Spreading In The Military
- Second soldier is jailed in gang beating death
- Soldier gets 19 years in killingJudge gives midran...
- NCO accused of beating chooses judge over jury
- Soldier gets 12 years in gang-related beating deat...
- Charges dismissed in gang-initiation beating death...
- Expert testifies gang beating death was a rite gon...
- Witness testifies private hit sergeant many times ...
- Soldier pleads not guilty in sergeant’s death
- A family looks for justice
- ▼ July (13)
Carter F. Smith
- I prefer to be called Carter, though I have grown accustomed to answering to most any variation that remains respectful.
I learned from the UPS manual that a leader does not need to remind others of authority by use of title. Knowledge, performance, and capacity should be adequate evidence of position and leadership.