You may recall back in June when a man from England came all the way to the United States and then traveled across the country just to attend a Donald Trump rally. But Michael Sandford was looking for more than a photo op with the potential next leader of the free world. He attempted to grab a police officer’s gun, hoping to take a shot at The Donald and end his presidential bid permanently. It turns out that we’ll be spared a full blown trial for Mr. Sandford because he’s entered a guilty plea and will be facing what seems like a rather light sentence. (Time)
A British man plead guilty Tuesday after attempting to grab a gun from a police officer and shoot Donald Trump at a June campaign rally in Las Vegas.
Michael Steven Sandford, 20, is facing federal charges of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function, which could get him about two years in U.S. prison and deported, according to CBS News.
“I tried to take a gun from a policeman to shoot someone with, and I’m pleading guilty,” Sandford said in court.
Sentencing should be a rather short affair, since Sandford won’t even be able to appeal whatever he gets following the guilty plea. And while I understand that there are standard sentencing guidelines in play here, doesn’t that seem like he’s getting off fairly light when you consider he was trying to murder a presidential candidate? Two years sounds a bit on the thin side given the serious nature of what he was attempting. As for the deportation portion, I suppose it’s good to see the government managing to deport anyone accused of a crime these days. (Good thing Vegas isn’t a sanctuary city.)
The sentence might sound about right if we were speaking of any other random target. I mean, as assassination attempts go, this one was fairly lame. Sandford had reportedly never held a gun before his one day of training on a gun range that same week. And when he attempted (very unsuccessfully) to grab a weapon from the cop he was so far away from Trump that I wouldn’t have given the officer a very good chance of making the shot. All in all it looked like more of a bungled episode from a sit-com than a serious murder plot, so perhaps that’s what leads to the sentence.
But it still sends a pretty poor message to everyone else. We do take the identify and relative “importance” (for lack of a better word) of attempted murder targets into consideration when judging crimes. It seems as if attempting to kill a presidential candidate would be taken a bit more seriously. Still, all’s well that ends well I guess. Perhaps the Brits can think of something better to do with him once he’s sent home.