EATON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan Court of Appeals says an Eaton County man should get a new, shorter sentence after he pleaded to charges of assault and choking his wife.
Police and prosecutors accused Henry Albert Moore of assault by strangulation after a domestic violence arrest in December of 2017. Moore, who is now 37-years-old, pleaded “no contest” to the charges – which is not a guilty plea but is treated like one for sentencing.
Moore, a Marine who suffered from PTSD and other issues after serving in Iraq, was originally sentenced to take part in a probation program and serve five months in jail – but with all but 12 days of the jail time suspended and then only serving those days on weekends.
But the ruling says he violated his probation, so the judge sentenced him to 6 to 10 years on the original charges.
According to the ruling, the judge said he was concerned about Moore’s behavior, and that it could lead to someone’s death one day. Moore also had two prior convictions for drunk driving and also had a prior conviction for illegally entering a building.
“And I’m sorry that this happened because of our military, if this did occur because of your service in the military, that it changed you, I apologize for that, because that is – what – what our military has to go through is awful, sir. And – and – but, you just can’t beat on women,” the trial court judge said when announcing the sentence.
Moore appealed, saying the sentence exceeded the recommendations (which were 5 to 23 months) and that the judge also based his decision on some bad information.
The appeals court agreed, saying “It is difficult to ascertain the trial court’s reasoning or rationale for the extent of the departure imposed and to ascertain where on the ‘continuum from the least to the most serious situations’ this case falls.”
Moore should receive his new sentence in the next 60 days.
Moore had previously been placed in a Veteran’s Court for one of his drunk driving convictions.
One of the appeals court judges agreed with the result of the decision to resentence Moore, but wrote a separate decision saying “It is not a personal failing. It is, tragically, a price paid by many men and women in uniform, particularly those who fought on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq,” and that “This in no way excuses assaultive conduct. However, it offers a glimpse into the complexity and magnitude that traumatic experiences can have on those whose trauma goes untreated.”