In this post I mentioned that Mennonite missionary Timothy Miller has agreed to a plea bargain deal with the federal prosecutors for his having helped Lisa Miller. My thanks to Nancy Flory, a lawyer and writer for The Stream, who obtained the public documents in the plea deal for me. Some salient points:
--The maximum sentence, given what he has pled guilty to, is 5 years and a $250,000 fine. It seems unlikely that he will receive this sentence, though, since the judge is allegedly sympathetic and since Ken Miller received a lesser sentence though he didn't have a plea deal.
--He had to agree formally as part of the plea deal that Isabella is "the daughter of Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins" and that when Isabella lived here Janet Jenkins "had the parental right to visit" Isabella. One presumes he construes these "agreements" in a purely legal fiction sense: "Was the parent" in the sense that some court treated her as such and "had the right" in the sense that a court said she did. Still, it's grating to see that they worked that in there as one of the "agreed-upon facts" that he had to sign off on.
--The judge has some leeway at sentencing, but it's difficult to get a strong grip on exactly what the minimum sentence is. One part of the plea document says that the guidelines yield a sentencing range for this defendant of 21 to 27 months and a fine of $5000 to $50,000, though "the defendant understands" that he is "subject" to the maximum penalties. In other words, no guarantees.
--A different paragraph seems to be saying that, if Timothy "fully cooperates" (presumably between now and his March 23 sentencing hearing) the government may recommend to the judge a sentence between 12 and 18 months. I don't know whether time served would be included in that. One would like to think so. It is ominously fascinating to wonder what sort of cooperation they might be looking for between now and March, since both Ken Miller and Philip Zodhiates have already been convicted, but it's possible that this type of paragraph is routinely included in such plea agreements.
I've decided not to try to post the entire documents on-line, in order to get this post up more conveniently, but they are public documents, so if a reader wants them, feel free to e-mail me at my gmail address and ask for them.