October 10 , 2014
Harsh sentence prompts questions about Kevin Maryk’s 4 year sentence for kidnapping his children
A Colorado man who abducted his son from his estranged wife’s home and drove to Brandon, Man. is facing 36 years behind bars.
According to media reports out of Colorado, Monty Turner and his lawyers struck a deal in the Boulder County Justice Center on Wednesday.
- Abducted Colorado boy, 3, reunited with mother
- Man, 73, sentenced for role in kidnapping that ended in Brandon
- U.S. man accused of abducting son, 3, arrested in Manitoba
Turner, 52, was set to stand trial on 16 criminal counts for taking his then-three-year-old son, Luke, on May 25, 2013.
Instead, he pleaded guilty to four charges: second-degree kidnapping, felony menacing, use of a stun gun and violation of custody. The sentencing hearing will be held next month.
In May 2013, Turner assaulted his ex-wife with pepper spray and a stun gun, then took Luke and drove 1,500 kilometres from Longmont, Colo. to the western Manitoba city.
He was arrested at a Brandon motel shortly after checking in. Luke was not hurt and was returned to his mother.
Turner’s father, Ronald, was convicted in April for helping to plan and orchestrate the kidnapping. In June, a U.S. judge sentenced him to 27 years behind bars.
It’s not known yet exacty how many years Monty Turner will serve.
In his plea agreement, Turner agreed to 36 years, but that includes guilty pleas for other violent crimes, such as felony menacing, use of a stun gun and violation of custody, as well as the kidnapping.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 21
Harsh U.S. sentence raises questions about Canadian courts
The sentence Turner may serve is raising eyebrows at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Kevin Maryk was sentenced in Winnipeg last month to four years behind bars for abducting his two children and taking them to Mexico for four years.
Maryk was sentenced in September, but he was also given credit for time served. He’ll be out in less than a year.
Christy Dzikowicz of Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection said comparing the two cases raises questions about how seriously Canadian courts view parental abduction, given Maryk’s four-year sentence.
“It seems like a very inadequate response to the crime that was committed when we see these sentences come out of the U.S.,” she said. “It really underscores where we really need to make some changes on our side.”
Dzikowicz said it’s disappointing.
“We have a long way to go for people to recognize how serious a crime it is to remove children. It’s not a matter of, you know, they’re with a parent, so it’s not so bad. It is bad.”
Maryk’s ex-wife, Emily Cablek, said it’s clear U.S. authorities take the issue of parents abducting their children much more seriously.
“I mean it is really surprising,” she said. “Canada has a long way to go. The Canadian laws are very, very sad and disappointing.”
Cablek said even though she has full custody of her children now, she is afraid Maryk will try to take the children again when he gets out of jail.
“I don’t want to lose my kids again and I will say, they don’t want to see him,” she told CBC. “It’s hard because I hope he doesn’t put us through another custody battle, I hope he doesn’t take more years away as a family.”
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