Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bad News

I received a phone call this morning that started the tears flowing. We were unaware that a suit was filed by Sunderman against the state asking that he be given credit for time served, which had been denied in our trial since it was for his probation violation. Well, he won the suit. I pasted below the judge's decision regarding the case.


This information is provided as a service and is not considered an official court record.
Date Filed: 01/05/2009
Location: DeKalb Case Type: CC Declaratory Judgment
Disposition: Other Final Disposition Date of Disposition: 01/20/2010
Judge/Commissioner At Disposition: MCELWAIN, WARREN L

01/20/2010 Docket Entry: Other Final Disposition
Text: Being fully advised in the premises, the Court finds that based upon Goings v Missouri Department of Corrections 6S.W. 3RD 906 that the 156 days spent by Petitioner in the Nodaway County jail was "related" to the Involuntary Manslaughter charge that Petitioner was sentenced to 6 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on June 25, 2008. The court notes that the revocation of the prior Misdemeanor sentences of 180 days on July 17, 2007 could have been based solely on Petitioner's operating a motor vehicle without a valid license or the consumption of alcohol. However in construing the statute (RSMo 558.031) we are guided by the principle that criminal statutes must be construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the defendant. Goings, supera citing State v Jones 899 SW 2d 126. The court heard testimony of current Nodaway County Sheriff Davis White that it was his understanding that Petitioner was held on both Involuntary Manslaughter and the prior Misdemeanors. Additionally the Court notes that in Petitioner's Exhibit #3, the Nodaway County Sheriff's office listed the offense from 7-30-07 to 01-02-2008 as time served for "involuntary manslaughter." Therefore the court finds and believes that Petitioner's 156 days were related to the Involuntary Manslaughter charge and pursuant to Section 558.031 he is entitled to credit thereon. Court costs are taxed against Petitioner. It is so Ordered. Petitioners Attorney to draw proposed Order. (WLM)

Docket Entry: Judgment Entered

Basically it means he will be released 156 days early. His new release date is now January 7, 2012. A full four years out of the 6 year sentence will not be spent behind bars.

I am at a loss today. I feel like the justice system just said that her life is not worth the full sentence. It feels like a gut-shot and I don't know that there is any way to fight it.

How much more injustice do we have to experience? When will the laws work for the victims instead of in the offender's favor?

I am just in tears.


  1. my heart goes out to you and your family,

    there is so much i want to say, but i better not. i better do some more counting.

  2. I am so sorry Brenda. Judges are not always right. Unfortunately, some of them are not about protecting the public and instead focus on the rights of the offender. I feel they are wrong to let a repeat offender off easier. He should do ALL the time. Every single second of it.

  3. This is horrible. I am so sorry! I don't think 6 years was enough as it was. I don't understand how you can take someones life and only pay 6 of yours, and now less. It just doesn't make sense.
    Thinking of you and praying for your family!

  4. oh no,,,,,,,, how in the world can this be??

    Im in tears too Brenda, this is just heartbreaking~ Im sorry!!

    hugs, Darla

  5. I am sorry to hear that news. It is unfortunate that the judicial system doesn't work for the victims. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. I don't understand why the system is there if they don't enforce the laws. Our hearts go out to you.

  6. You need to experience as much injustice as the Sundermann family has served with you continually calling their son a drunk when he was below the legal limit. It's about time something goes right for the Sundermann family, Everything has gone your way so far so it's the other sides turn this time.

  7. Everything has gone their way? Are you kidding me, really? Wow, I cant even believe someone could put more salt in their wounds, he will meet his maker one day and justice then will be served~

  8. i cant understand how anyone can stick up for a guyt hat kills al little girl and destryoed a family forever and a community that loved that same little girl he should be in jail forever anyone not smart enough to see that needs help.the neffs are grerat people and deserve more out of the justice system that this
    tim jackson

  9. Remember Brenda, no matter what happens on this earth, Ryan will have a judgement day and we all know the outcome of that! I guarantee that hes alot safer on the inside of a prison than he ever will be on the outside!!! Life will be a living hell on the ouside!!!I promise!!

  10. Remember, Brenda, no matter what happens on this earth, Ryan will have a judgement day and we all know that outcome! I guarantee life on the outside will be a living hell for him! He'll wish he could spend the rest of his life behind safety walls! I promise!

  11. Are you kidding me? Hey, if you feel a man who has taken a young girls life due to his wreckless driving is unjust to him...stay off this website! It's not for you! It's for those of us who mourn the loss and celebrate the life of a precious little girl!! I cannot express enough how hurtful your words are to Abbys family. Brenda does not come into your lives and post hateful messages...stay off of hers!! ~Amber Thompson

  12. Amen, Amber. My thoughts exactly. If you don't like what is said on this blog then don't read it. No one is asking for your comments. If you think things have gone in favor for the Neffs all the have serious issues. They have had the greatest loss of all...a life. At least you get to see Ryan. Bug off! Carla Rickabaugh

  13. When I read this person's comment, I was so angry. As I think about Abby and her smiling face, I can think of a lot of injustices. The injustice in this situation is that they lost their beautiful daughter. The injustice is that they do not get to hug her in the morning or tuck her in at night. The injustice is that her sisters did not get to have an Easter egg hunt with her yesterday. I could go on for hours. Nothing has "went their way." They lost their daughter because of HIS actions. Katrina McIntyre

  14. I heard about this comment on here and couldn't believe that someone would be so heartless to people who have lost so much. So here I know sit dumbfounded after actually reading it with my own eyes. Obviously a coward wrote it or they wouldn't have left off their name. Maybe he tested under the leagal limit, but the fact remains that there was alcohol in his system and even if there wasn't, he still wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel of any vehicle. He took a little girl's life and forever changed a family and community. Why does he deserve any special consideration when he didn't consider others when he decided to get behind the wheel that day? Why is whoever wrote that message even reading this blog if they don't care about the Neff family. Start your own "Sundermann" blog and see how many people care to read that one.
    JoAnna Baker