Editor’s Note: This series will be highly controversial, and the privacy of the article’s subject has demanded to remain nameless for their safety and respect for their family. The only attorneys present for this series of interviews are employed for McManus and Amadeo and include Matthew McManus, William Amadeo and Jennifer Kelley. A non-disclosure agreements have been signed. CM=Carly McGregor, Officer=Defendant’s father, the other parties will go by their initials MM,=Matt McManus, JK=Jennifer Kelley, BA=Bill Amadeo, NS=Nick Sanderson).
Part IX of this series will deal with the sentencing.
CM: On the day of the sentencing, what were you thinking?
Officer: I was scared. The victim advocate was very clear that she did not want this deal to go through but also did not want to put her “victim” through a trial. I say the word victim with disgust because this young woman was not a victim.
CM: What did you think was going to happen?
Officer: We thought the victim advocate would influence the court. She had provided victim impact statements to the court and was very clear that she wanted prison time and SORA.
CM: For two teenagers having consensual sex?
Officer: Yeah. I expected the judge to say that they would offer another deal or force a trial. Bill (Amadeo) told us we had nothing to lose.
CM: Why was that?
BA: My position was this victim advocate was never happy with a deal. She always tried to compromise things. She was not looking out for the victim, she didn’t care about the lack of physical evidence, she didn’t care about the past polygraphs, to this particular individual guilt was guaranteed. Where I was at is if they want to go to trial I wanted a war. Prosecute when you have evidence, not on your personal beliefs when someone’s freedom was on the line.
CM: What happened at sentencing?
Officer: Bill had a memo prepared. He and the prosecutor started arguing over scoring guidelines.
CM: What are scoring guidelines?
JK: These are how judges determine an appropriate sentence. According to People v. Lockridge they are advisory. They also do not apply when the Holmes Youthful Training Act (HYTA) is in play.
CM: Why were these being argued with HYTA on the table?
MM: We had to keep issues ripe for appeal and be diligent if the deal did not go through.
CM: Did the victim show up to sentencing?
Officer: You mean the complaining witness?
CM: I’m sorry.
Officer: It’s fine. She showed up with the victim advocate and asked the judge not to follow the deal. She gave inconsistent statements from the evidence. We were terrified. Bill jumped in.
CM: What did Bill say?
Officer: He said to the judge that with all due respect the stories are becoming more and more inconsistent and if the People want to have the plea withdrawn he was ready for trial.
CM: What happened next?
Officer: The judge said they were ready to follow the deal but asked the prosecutor if there was anything they wanted to add. At this point Bill and the prosecutor stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. I remember the look on Bill’s face. Bill was holding up paperwork that he had clenched in his fist. The prosecutor said just looked and said they would ask the court to follow the sentence agreement.
CM: What did Bill have in his hand?
Officer: He never told me. Bill what did you have in your hand?
BA: Something that would’ve destroyed a lot of young lives. The prosecutor knew what it was, whatever it was, it doesn’t matter. Our kid was safe.
CM: How did you feel when the case was over?
Officer: Like we won the lottery. We literally went from the brinks of hell to what felt like heaven. Sometimes justice can prevail.
Carly McGregor has been a ghostwriter for many years and is currently working on her Juris Doctorate and has published many articles across social media and print work.