Former Army Col. Scott Carlson was sentenced to 4 to 23 months in Cumberland County Prison this afternoon for convincing a fellow Army War College student to take a paternity test for him.
President Judge Edgar B. Bayley imposed the penalty after Carlson's lawyer, Dennis Boyle, urged that the retired officer be given probation instead.
Boyle said Carlson, 53, of Swansea, Ill., will appeal the sentence.
Bayley said he sent Carlson to prison because the crime "struck at the heart" of the county Domestic Relations Office's efforts to ensure children receive support.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Derek Clepper said the prison term was exactly what he was seeking.
A county jury convicted Carlson in September on charges including theft by deception, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
Authorities said that in April 2007 Carlson persuaded fellow war college student Bruce Adkins to go to the Domestic Relations office in his stead and provide a DNA sample for a paternity test.
Investigators said Carlson, who retired from the Army this past summer, was trying to avoid paying child support for a 10-year-old daughter he had fathered through an extramarital affair with an enlisted soldier.
Carlson had been paying support for the girl without a court order, but in late 2006 the mother asked for a higher amount of court-ordered support.
Adkins testified against Carlson and is scheduled for trial in January. Clepper didn't rule out the possibility that Adkins might be offered a plea deal. more
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