LITTLE ROCK — A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing for a Russellville doctor convicted and sentenced to life in prison in a 2009 bombing that critically injured the chairman of the state Medical Board.
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld Randeep Mann’s conviction but said in a 60-page ruling that a sentencing enhancement based on allegations that Mann ordered the assault of another inmate should not have been included in his sentence. The judges said the allegation was never brought up in court and should not have been referenced in a pre-sentencing report.
The federal appeals court also ordered that one of Mann’s two weapons convictions be thrown out, saying the two convictions were based on a 1986 federal law and that he acquired one of the weapons before the law was passed.
Dr. Trent Pierce of West Memphis lost an eye and sustained other serious injuries in the Feb. 4, 2009, blast that occurred as he was getting into his car outside his residence. Pierce has recovered and resumed his duties as head of the state Medical Board.
Mann, a pain medication specialist who ran a private practice in Russellville, was sentenced to life in prison and fined $100,000 for his role in the bombing.
"Mann had a long history of investigations by the board, and Dr. Pierce testified that he had been particularly vocal about his belief that Mann was providing improper care to his patients," the appeals court ruling said.
"Mann had an alibi as to the time frame of the bombing, but he also had a motive to harm Dr. Pierce: Not only had he made statements that he wanted the board dead, he suggested the bombing achieved its intent by making Dr. Pierce suffer," the decision said. "Further, Mann knew that he was likely the subject of additional disciplinary action."
In July, the federal appeals panel upheld conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and aiding and abetting evidence tampering convictions against Mann’s wife, Sangeeta Mann, who was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $50,000.