December 18th, 2011, 22:55
BEEN HERE A WHILE
Fake Vet Gets Prison
HERE IS AN ARTICLE FROM LAST MONTH
November 05, 2011
The Morning Call|by Riley Yates
An Easton, Penn. man admitted Friday that he lied in court when he claimed he was a Marine who had gone to Iraq, and he's now headed to state prison and could still face perjury charges.
"I apologize to any veteran out there who has served a complete tour in Iraq and has been the man I wanted to be," said 20-year-old Matthew A. Williamson, who called himself a scared kid.
"I don't know if you're a kid, but you're definitely not a man," said Northampton County Judge Paula Roscioli.
Last month, Williamson stood before Roscioli facing sentencing on forgery and theft charges and said he had "pre-enlisted" at 17, spent 18 months in Iraq as a Marine, and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Roscioli gave him a local prison sentence that subsequently allowed him to be released -- but revoked it after Williamson's false claims were discovered.
The allegations were also forwarded to the district attorney's office, and before Friday's resentencing, Roscioli warned Williamson that admissions he made in court could be used against him in a future prosecution.
For the forgery and theft charges, Roscioli gave Williamson three to six months, plus three years of probation, the same term she had originally handed down. But this time, she ran it after another sentence he has -- instead of alongside -- and sent him to state prison -- instead of the county jail.
Roscioli said she was not sentencing Williamson for lying in court because that could raise questions of double jeopardy if prosecutors charge him criminally.
"I hope that the district attorney's office files charges against you, because it is completely inappropriate for someone to stand before the court and lie," Roscioli said.
Williamson told the judge he "completely messed up," but thought that lying about his military career would help him at sentencing. He insisted, however, that he had enrolled in the National Guard, but paperwork he handed Roscioli showed his stint was brief.
"From what I see here, you spent a total of 13 days in the Army National Guard," Roscioli said.
Defense attorney Matthew Potts said that while Williamson's claims of post-traumatic stress disorder don't hold up, it is clear that his client does have mental health problems.
"I'm trying to explain all of this," Potts said. "It's difficult to explain."
Roscioli noted that the charges Williamson was in front of her for were minor and usually wouldn't have captured much notice.
In February, Williamson forged four checks from a Wind Gap man for whom he worked. Then in March, he twice arranged online to sell a go-kart motor to buyers who sent money but never got their purchases.
He also was involved in the beating of a stranger in downtown Easton on April Fools' Day, an offense for which he had earlier pleaded guilty and received a four- to 23-month sentence from another judge.
By claiming he was a suffering war veteran, "you through your comments made it newsworthy," Roscioli told Williamson.
Micky --- All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; mercy; duty; hope. Sir Winston Churchill
December 18th, 2011 22:55