- Business notebook: Cape salon picked as one of nation's top 200 (4/17/17)
- Man out on bond for alleged molestation of boys charged with abusing girl (4/18/17)
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- New policy for semissourian.com online commentary: No pseudonyms (4/17/17)58
- Without city record, Marie Street residents on hook for thousands in sewer repairs (4/19/17)7
- Going the distance: Several locals participate in Boston Marathon (4/18/17)2
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)2
- Cape councilman Bob Fox to run for mayor (4/21/17)5
- Deputy: Man kicked, broke uncle's ribs after yard-work dispute (4/19/17)
- Scott County: M Kay Supply in Benton fills unique needs in community (4/14/17)
Release Sparkman during appeal
To the editor:
As friends of Greg and Lisa Sparkman for over 20 years, we are confused about his incarceration. Our federal judicial system has taken away a strong family, business and community leader for reasons I cannot fathom. Greg faces a minimum sentence of 15 years for a supposed 5-year-old arson case that had no apparent motive and no benefit to him, all based on the testimony of a convicted methamphetamine manufacturer who was released early for testifying against Greg.
I have spoken to Greg's attorneys weekly since his conviction, and they don't understand why federal agents chose to pursue this, as it was already cleared by local and state authorities. The only reason that seems plausible is some 20-year-old crimes that Greg was charged with and found not guilty. I have known Greg all these years, and he is one of the most compassionate, moral Christians I've ever met.
I believe Greg and his family have suffered enough. Christmas was the worst day of their lives. What kind of government takes such a strong leader away for petty crimes, when sentencing is the same whether it's a $1,000 loss or a $1 million crime? It's unfair and unconstitutional.
I have no doubt Greg will win his appeal, as our government did not play fair in his trial. Greg should be released for his sake and his family's.
We love you, Greg and Lisa, and so do all the others whom you have touched. Please hang in there.
MARK and KIM VanMATRE, Cape Girardeau