Federal oops: To appeal former Lee deputy’s sentence

By Patsy R. Brumfield / NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – A math mistake may be why Monday the U.S. Attorney’s Office appealed the sentence of a former Lee County deputy.

Michael Shane Minich was sentenced June 30 to 12 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to four counts that he stole nearly $3,000 from the wallets of Latino motorists during fake traffic stops.

He was scheduled to enter Leavenworth Penitentiary on Aug. 23.

While no one at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford was available for an explanation about the appeal, Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said Monday he was told that Minich’s possible prison time was calculated incorrectly in his mandatory pre-sentence report written by the U.S. Probation Service.

District Judge Sharion Aycock gave Minich what she believed to be the maximum prison term, when possibly it should have been longer, the sheriff said.

Minich was sentenced to four 12-month terms, to be served at the same time. He also was ordered to repay his victims.

“I believe they’ve appealed so that the case can come back to Judge Aycock for a re-sentence,” Johnson noted.

When Aycock sentenced Minich, 35, she told him she was giving him as long a sentence as she could.

Minich admitted that four times, “under the color of law,” he violated people’s constitutional right to protection from illegal search and seizure.

Aycock told him that his uniformed presence, with a weapon, was a serious breach of what the public expects of its law enforcement officers.

The federal appeal will go to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans for a decision.