In the meantime, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill furthermore overruled the defendant’s rights to a speedy trial, by refusing to separate his case from that of his co defendants, who were facing many more charges than he did, while approving the request by the co defendants’ counsel for extended continuance.
When counsel for the defendant submitted a motion requesting a hearing set for September 19, 2011 to have the case dismissed based on a violation of the Speedy Trial Act, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill vacated the hearing, dismissing the need for oral argument and denying the motion by conveniently stating that there was no violation of the Speedy Trial Act. This ruling was handed down after receiving response from the government prosecution, of course.
The chiropractor co defendant eventually received a sentence of house arrest for six months, convicted on one count with all other counts dismissed, while his co defendant wife had all charges against her dropped.
It can be fairly argued that this “slap on the wrist” is just compensation for cooperating with the prosecution in committing perjury and violating the rules against unlawful federal tax collection. Is the sentencing commensurate with the fact that he had been convicted of committing a crime?
The defendant, however, was treated much more harshly for attempting to stand up for his own rights. At sentencing, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill noted that the defendant is “cagey, conniving, smart, wily … he’s a sophisticated cheat … he is a con”, further adding that the defendant “regrets being caught and not what he’s done”. Although the total amount finally determined was owed to the IRS was $207,000, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill decided to use the figure of $1.4 Million for sentencing purposes. The defendant received a sentence of 9 years in prison.
Nevertheless, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the decision on March 20, 2012 and further ordered that defendant be released. The Court of Appeals also found that their “decision is likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial”.
Another noteworthy case that was also overruled by the same Court of Appeals concerns a sentence imposed by Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on co defendants Major and Huff. In its decision filed on March 27, 2012, the Appeals Court noted that “no one can dispute that a sentence of almost 750 years is harsh”. All Justices refused to affirm the decision, with The Honorary Judge John T. Noonan both concurring and dissenting by noting that the U.S. government is asking that a sentence that cannot be carried out be affirmed. His ending statement: “I do not believe that we should participate in this utter empty gesture.”
Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill is carrying on, all thanks to taxpayer dollars.