Sentencing for Sandy Moore, who pled guilty in the killing of Larry Coon in January of 2020, was held today, October 12, 2021. The court heard statements from the victim’s family members, as well as statements for Sandy Moore which included her counselor Jenn Miller, LPC.
Lori Ford, the victim’s sister, also incarcerated, made what could be seen as threatening assertions, regarding crossing paths in the Montana Women’s Prison. This caused some concern for both the defendant’s lawyers as well as Judge Berger.
Moore’s lawyers asked the state for a 25-year sentence, minus the 641 days already served. They pointed out that she has mental and chemical dependency issues. They also asked the state to grant her access to a chemical dependency and mental health program while she is serving her time.
During sentencing, Judge Berger made the remark that he has thought about the sentencing and doesn’t want to be seen as a judge that hands down harsh sentences. Judge Berger stated,
“If the circumstances were, Sandy, you cannot steal, this would be on a different level. But here we are, and I am telling you, Sandy, you cannot murder people. Most people have a flight or fight response, and you have a fight and fight response that has led to nothing but tragedy. You are a broken individual, and I cannot give you a sentence that could have you out in as little as four years with the time already served.”
For this reason, Judge Berger ruled for the state recommended sentencing of 40 years, with eligibility of parole after a quarter of that sentence served, along with needing to pay $3417.76 in restitution and to take any chemical dependency and mental health programs offered through the Montana Women’s Prison.