LITTLE ROCK — A federal appeals panel Tuesday upheld a conspiracy conviction against the wife of a Russellville doctor convicted of masterminding a 2009 bombing that critically wounded the chairman of the state Medical Board.
The three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis found sufficient evidence that Sangeeta Mann conspired to obstruct an official proceeding and aided and abetted evidence tampering.
Dr. Trent Pierce of West Memphis lost an eye and sustained other serious injuries in the Feb. 4, 2009, blast that occurred as he was getting into his car outside his West Memphis residence.
Dr. Randeep Mann, a pain specialist who ran a practice in Russellville, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing. Sangeeta Mann was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $50,000.
In a 15-page opinion written by Judge Raymond Gruender of St. Louis, the appeals panel said prosecutors presented enough evidence during the Manns’ 2010 trial in Little Rock "that could have led the jury to find that (Mann and his wife) corruptly conspired to impede the investigation into Dr. Mann by … removing potentially relevant evidence, including materials relating to (the Mann’s children) from Dr. Mann’s office in anticipation of a search warrant."
The court also found sufficient evidence for a jury to determine that Sangeeta Mann "corruptly intended to impair the availability of these documents to the ongoing grand jury investigation, and that her actions had ‘a relationship in time, causation, or logic with the judicial proceedings’ such that their ‘natural and probable effect (was interfering) with due administration of justice.’"