Friday, December 08, 2006

Commit Murder, Get A Puppy

Donald England, 45 year-old husband and father was sitting in his car at a Shawnee Mission, KS strip mall parking lot waiting for his wife to get her hair cut. He was sitting patiently in his convertible when John Manard and his friend Michael Yardley randomly chose Donald's car to steal.

A struggle ensued as two 17 year-olds fought Mr. England for control of the car. A shot was fired, and Donald's life ended with a .45 caliber bullet to the chest. Mrs. England, walking out during the heat of the fight, watched as her husband fell to the ground and the murderers sped off.

John Manard and Michael Yardley were sentenced to life in prison, and Donald's family was devastated.

Good news though- John Manard got a new puppy dog!

Prison inmate benefits like private visits with wives and girlfriends, cable TV, sports equipment, libraries, DVD collections and internet access is old news. What's the hottest trend in the world of prison perks? Pets.

Toby Young, the 48 year-old president and founder of Safe Harbor, the brilliant program to rescue unwanted dogs and give them to unwanted felons, befriended John Manard after meeting him as part of the program. She is married, but I guess likes bad boys in addition to good dogs.

On Feb. 12th of this year, Toby hid John Manard in an empty dog crate, and provided an escape for John. The police report did not indicate if she provided food and water as well.

The two travel companions were captured not far from here- in Chattanooga, TN- on Feb. 24th. This past Wednesday, John pled not guilty to the charges stemming from the escape. In July, Mrs. Young pled guilty to aiding and abetting aggravated escape and trafficking contraband and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. If John is convicted, an additional 10+ years could be added to his current life term, and no doubt the caring and compassionate judge will switch him to cats. Smaller cages.

Enough already. 3 healthy meals a day, water, sink and a toilet, two-ply and a nice daily walk in the sunshine picking up trash on the side of the road. Let’s try that.

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