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Partial update on Timo Miller

Via this blog (about which I know very little besides what you see) a partial update on Timo Miller's situation came through on November 30. For some reason I missed it, despite a comment in my own thread (apologies), and just saw it recently. Since then I've been trying to find out a little more still, but since that doesn't seem to be happening, here's what I have:

Someone named Carl (apparently in the Mennonite community) has been attending Timo's various hearings and has posted updates that he knows are going to be made public.

Timo has obtained a plea bargain. He pled guilty to one federal charge for helping Lisa and Isabella, and the other has been dropped. His sentencing hearing is on March 23, and the judge appears sympathetic and has a fair bit of discretion. I've been unable to discover just how much discretion the judge has, partly because I don't know what charge he pled guilty to, so it would be difficult to look up the sentencing guidelines. Could he be sentenced to time served? (If time in the Nicaraguan dungeon is counted, this will be about eight months already by March 23.) I'm guessing his family doesn't expect that, since both the fundraising page and this comment suggest that his wife and children are planning to return to the U.S. and try to find a place to live near the prison where he is sentenced to serve his term. Considering that Kenneth Miller got a sentence of 27 months for helping Lisa and Isabella when he did not have a plea deal, it seems not unreasonable to hope that Timothy Miller's sentence will be less than that.

By the way, a couple of bits of perfidy of the U.S. government in dealing with Timo Miller: First, they went back on their agreement not to prosecute him in consideration of his cooperation back in 2011. Their excuse was that he went back to Nicaragua and didn't return to testify in person in Ken Miller's trial. This was apparently because his wife was having a baby in Nicaragua. He had already provided a videotaped deposition that was used at Ken Miller's trial. Second, they engaged in some kind of shenanigans to get the Nicaraguans to arrest Timo this past summer, even though there is no extradition agreement. Timothy's wife was told by "sources" in Nicaragua that this was done by "someone's" putting out a false claim that he was wanted on child pornography charges!

These guys don't play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules. It makes me feel like the Mennonites should be the ones who have an excuse for refusing to stand for the National Anthem.

But I bet anything they stand anyway.

P.S. Carl's report says the following,

The early part of the day was spent in private discussion among the attorneys and Timo. During that time, Timo had a special opportunity for some very positive personal interaction with the lead prosecutor and expressed his love and goodwill for him and his desire for the well being of his soul.

These men truly live out the injunction of Philippians 2:15, to be "blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

Comments (3)

Thanks. Indeed something fishy with that extradition and sadly not much to be done after you are already in the government's claws. I hope Nicaragua was merely duped (and get wise to it) rather than having some kind of *wink wink* arrangement where you just say "child pornography" and magically the cops whisk off political refugees to the clink.

Lydia, I appreciate your frustration over not knowing more about the blogger you are forced to quote as your main source of information on Timo's status. As a member of the Mennonite community, Timo never expected to be nationally known, especially as a criminal. Mennonites are an extremely close-knit community--basically all related to each other in an identifiable way, and used to knowing a lot of details about each others' lives but not interacting all that much in a social way with those on the outside. So this whole Miller Kidnapping Saga has drawn the attention of millions of outsiders in a way that they are certainly not used to, and probably not all that comfortable with. As believers, however, they do welcome--as did the apostle Paul, as well as many of their illustrious ancestors whose biographies as recorded in "The Martyrs' Mirror" are their daily bread--the opportunity to proclaim before princes and judges the reason for the hope that is within them.
Mennonites take a very personal interest in these proceedings, because they involve people who are their friends, or at most friends of friends. Thus they have their own network for keeping up on all the latest developments. It is an inevitable result of the far-flung nature of this close-knit community that much of what they release for internal consumption will make its way to a broader audience, but this new reality is certainly not something they are used to, and it will continue to result in some awkwardness as people who have little idea what Mennonites are all about clamor to be let in on their in-house communications.
I will close by saying that we who know Timo, or are close to those who do, appreciate your desire to carry out your Christian duties to "Remember those in bonds, as bound with them" (Hebrews 13:3). Please also bear with us as we are not used to this level of attention. One thing you can be sure of is that some Mennonite publisher will release a book in a few years giving all the details you now crave. To read about the last such case, where a woman was arrested in Central America (where she had gone to hide among the Mennonites) and imprisoned for kidnapping her own children (of whom she had full legal custody at the time) get the book A Song for Your Honor by Kay Evans (pseudonym). She also was able to be a powerful testimony to judges--an ironic position for her, as a Mennonite woman typically is expected to keep silent and let the men do the talking!

Regards to the comment about Mennonites standing for the national anthem--you bring up an interesting question, and one difficult to answer with the strokes of a broad brush.
Primarily, a Mennonite would not identify at all with the sentiments expressed in "The Star-Spangled Banner." They are non-militant, and harbor no affection in their breasts for militant symbols like a national flag or a song in its praises. Furthermore, they generally avoid participating in any type of event where the flag would be displayed or honored.
But the reality is that Mennonites live in and among those who do honor the flag, which is where another quality for which they are well known comes into conflict: they don't like to make waves. So Mennonite children who attended small community public schools learned the Pledge of Allegiance right along with their "English" classmates when it was pushed on all the public schools of America over a century ago. By the time their parents found out what was going on, it was probably too late to do anything without raising a fuss.
The eventual result was that the Plain People for the most part pulled their kids out of public school and started their own flag-free schools. But when attending a purely secular event like a ball game or a festive parade, a Mennonite is still likely to stand along with everyone else--not as a gesture of respect for the flag or anthem itself, but for the sensibilities of those around them. In the same way they always stand for the Hallelujah Chorus--not because they want to emulate the King of England, but because they don't want to offend the people standing around them.
Hope that clears things up about as much as they can be.

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