A judge is being praised for the creative punishment he handed down to two men who pretended to be military veterans in order to escape harsher sentencing.
"I want to make sure that my message is received loud and clear by these two defendants," said Judge Greg Pinski of the Cascade County district court.
Ryan Morris and Troy Nelson were caught pretending to be veterans so that they could be accepted into the judge's Veterans Treatment Court. Instead their lies were discovered and the judge tossed additional punishments.
The judge made both men watch a video of a military member confronting a man who had also committed a "stolen valor" offense.
Then Judge Pinski read the names of people from Montana who died while serving abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He also placed additional requirements they must complete before being eligible for parole after they served their respective sentences.
The men will have to wear a sign while they attend the Montana Veterans Memorial on each each Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremony. The signs will read, "I AM A LIAR. I AM NOT A VETERAN. I STOLE VALOR. I DISHONORED ALL VETERANS."
But that's not all.
KRTV-3 in Great Falls listed the requirements:
- Hand-write the names of all 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan wars
- Hand-write the obituaries of the 40 Montanans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan wars
- Write letters of apology to the following organizations: American Legion, AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America
They must also complete 441 hours of community service as part of their sentence.
Morris was convicted of burglary while Nelson was convicted of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Here's a local video about the sentence:
Two men sentenced in Great Falls for "stolen valor" www.youtube.com