David Freeman doesn’t want to go to prison, arguing that his cooperation with federal prosecutors on a bribery case should win him leniency at his sentencing Thursday in Topeka.
Freeman, who pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to commit bank fraud — all in connection with an expected building boom in Junction City that never materialized — is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers.
A pre-sentence report recommends that Freeman receive anywhere from 33 to 41 months in prison, and federal prosecutors plan to recommend that the judge consider a sentence that ranges from 18 to 24 months, said Carl Cornwell, Freeman’s attorney.
But Cornwell argues that Freeman shouldn’t have to spend time behind bars.
Among his reasons is the sentence for former Junction City Mayor Mick Wunder, who had been convicted at trial for accepting bribes from Freeman. Wunder this week reported for a sentence of two years in prison, which is below the 63 to 78 months that had been recommended.
While Wunder never admitted his guilt and “wasted valuable court time,” Cornwell said, Freeman — a Lawrence developer who had been seeking and ultimately secured approval for building contracts worth $12 million — readily admitted his role in the crimes and cooperated with prosecutors, even before formal charges had been filed.
“He … has paid a huge personal price for those transgressions,” Cornwell said in a motion seeking probation. “His family has suffered. He and they have been humiliated, harassed and degraded in the city of Lawrence where they reside.
“He did, however, try to atone for his crimes by doing the right thing. … (T)here is no reason to send him to penitentiary.”