Friday, May 13, 2011

Dad convicted of kidnapping to be resentenced (Cocoa, Florida)

I certainly don't remember every case ever posted at Dastardly Dads, but I remember this one. This article makes it sounds like this sailing trip wasn't much more than a lark. Uh, no. This father, PAUL MARTIKAINEN, had a history of domestic violence and child abuse allegations. And he had no background in sailing either. And the circumstances by which he took the boy from "supervised" visitation have always been pretty fishy. Daddy just happened to find an opportunity to abduct his son and just happened to have a boat ready to set sail? See our previous posts.

Father convicted of kidnapping son will be resentenced
11:39 AM, May. 13, 2011

Written by

A U.S. appellate court has ruled that a father convicted of kidnapping his son from Cocoa and setting sail with him in the Gulf of Mexico should be resentenced because prosecutors wrongly argued he fled from law enforcement officers.

The case stems from the November 2009 parental abduction that prompted a sweeping search for Paul Martikainen that stretched across the state.

Police issued a missing child alert for 3-year-old Luke Finch following the father's court-appointed visit with the child in Cocoa. Cocoa police said Martikainen, who was estranged from his former wife, took the child and left for St. Petersburg when a court-appointed observer went to the restroom.

The U.S. Coast Guard found Martikainen two and a half days later with the boy aboard a 32-foot sailboat about 120 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico. The child was returned to his mother in Cocoa and Martikainen later pleaded guilty before the U.S. Middle District Court in Orlando to international parental kidnapping.

Federal prosecutors also sought an enhanced charge alleging that Martikainen's actions also threatened the child because he was "in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer." Martikainen was sentenced to spend 30 months in a federal prison.

Martikainen's attorneys argued that he did not know police were pursuing him.

The three-member judicial panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed with Martikainen's attorneys and issued a ruling Tuesday that the enhanced penalty should not have been imposed.

But "he will be resentenced," said William Daniels, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office. "He's still in federal custody. The guidelines without the enhancement is anywhere between 21 to 27 months."

Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman, whose agency initiated the investigation into the abduction, also commented on the case.

"We understand the court's decision and hope that Mr. Martinkainen will be closely supervised in a highly controlled environment if he is able to visit Luke again" Klayman said.

A sentencing date has not been set.