Mann petitions high court to hear bombing case


LITTLE ROCK — A doctor sentenced to life in prison for his conviction in a 2009 bombing that injured the state Medical Board chief has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case.

The clerk of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis notified U.S. District Court in Little Rock on Thursday that Randeep Mann had petitioned the nation’s highest court for a writ of certiorari, or a demand from an appellate court to a lower court for the record of a case.

Mann’s petition was dated June 13, about six weeks after he was sentenced to life in prison for the second time for his conviction in the 2009 bombing that critically wounded Dr. Trent Pierce, then-chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board.

Mann received the sentence May 1 at a hearing in federal court here that was ordered by the 8th Circuit. The appeals court ruled in December that Mann was entitled to a new sentencing hearing because of errors in his previous sentencing in February 2011.

The 8th Circuit found that a sentencing enhancement based on allegations that Mann ordered the assault of another inmate should not have been included in his sentence because the allegation had not been brought up in court. It also found that two of Mann’s convictions on weapons charges amounted to double jeopardy and said one of the convictions must be vacated.

At a May 1 hearing, which Mann did not attend, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller sentenced Mann to life in prison and 30 years on two bombing charges, 10 years on two weapons charges and 5 years on two obstruction charges. The judge said an order that Mann pay $100,000 in restitution would remain in effect.

Mann’s lawyer, Blake Hendrix, said after that hearing that his client maintains he is innocent and likely would forgo an appeal of his new sentence and instead would pursue an appeal of his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hendrix did not immediately return a call to his office seeking comment Thursday.

Mann was convicted in the Feb. 4, 2009, blast that injured Pierce of West Memphis as he was getting into his car outside his home. Prosecutors said that Mann, a pain medication specialist who ran a private practice in Russellville, was upset over multiple investigations by the state Medical Board and comments by Pierce that he believed Mann was providing improper care to his patients.

Pierce, who lost an eye in the explosion, attended the May hearing but declined to testify and did not talk to reporters.

In July 2012, the 8th Circuit upheld the conviction of Mann’s wife, Sangeeta Mann, on obstruction charges. Sangeeta Mann was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $50,000.