Randeep Mann gets life in prison for Dr. Trent Pierce

    8:50 PM, Feb 28, 2011   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A Russellville doctor gets life in prison after being convicted of bombing the chief of the Arkansas Medical Board and nearly killing him.

    Mann was convicted last summer in the bombing of Dr. Trent Pierce at his West Memphis home. The board that Pierce led had yanked Mann's license to prescribe narcotics after a number of overdose deaths.

    U.S. Attorney Jane Duke told reporters after the sentencing that the life term was fair and shows just how seriously the justice system will react when people go outside the law to address a disagreement.

    Duke explains, "It has been a team effort. And they have worked tirelessly for a very very long time so this closes a chapter in what is and ongoing book but at this point it is a good chapter to close."

    Pierce did speak at the sentencing hearing and asked the judge to impose a stiff sentence calling Mann's actions "tragic."

    The bombing left Pierce with only partial vision and hearing. He didn't address the media, but his lawyers say Pierce is satisfied with the sentence.

    Meanwhile, Mann's lawyer says the real perpetrator is still out there and that he maintains his innocence.

    Attorney Blake Hendrix says, "It is a great jury trial system that we have in this country. It is not infallible. It has failed before as we know that from DNA exonerations and when you have a case like this when there is absolutely no science to back it up you always have to question the integrity of that result."

    Mann's wife, Sangjeeta was also sentenced for obstruction. Prosecutors had asked she serve 46 months but a judge ruled for one year. She is free while she has 14 days to file an appeal.

    Her attorney Jeff Rosenzweig explains, "She is grateful to the judge for the leniency that he showed that she is innocent of the offense. She did not commit a crime and hopes that the conviction is overturned on appeal."

    Defense lawyers argued that Mann should get a lesser sentence because the grenade that blew up in Pierce's driveway was intended only to scare or injure. Prosecutors dismiss that argument and cite Pierce's grave injuries.

    (Copyright 2011 by Today's THV and  The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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