Letter: A mistake in judgment
To the Editor:
Unbelievable does not even express the way I felt after reading the article that headlined "Judge Sentences Marshall to Probation," page 12A, on July 25, 2002.
Michael Marshall is already a repeat offender. He has been in a Kansas prison and at the time of his Bonner Springs' felonies was wanted in Missouri with outstanding felony warrants. How does a judge and prosecuting team permit someone who has pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges to walk out of jail on probation?
If trying to kill on officer by running him down with a stolen Suburban isn't enough, why wasn't burglary, resisting arrest, a 100-mph car chase and criminal damage to property? Officer Kristopher Creten did his job, even risking his life to apprehend Marshall. According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's report, Officer Creten was justified in the shooting, which means Marshall must have been doing something pretty damn wrong. Marshall said he was sorry, that his drug addiction was a problem. If I remember correctly, buying, selling and using drugs is a crime not a defense.
Judge Ernest Johnson, if Marshall stole your car and tried to kill you with it, would you give him a hug and ask him not to do it again?
Our police officers serve and protect all citizens, with a risk to their life everyday. Can we not expect our judges and prosecutors to have some degree of common sense when dealing with criminals who plead guilty of multiple felonies?
It was a blessing that Officer Creten was not injured, maimed or killed. A wife and two babies depend on him and dearly love him. Physically, he was all right, but emotionally and psychologically he was very shook up. Responding to danger is the policeman's duty and Judge Johnson, it's your duty to put criminals away when they catch them.
I'm sure you've figured it out by now that Officer Creten is a best friend of mine. He's my son.
R. Keith Creten
Kansas City, Kan.