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May 1, 2013

Campaign worker sentenced for vote fraud

Marshall worked for Galligan and Dems in 2011 election

NORTH VERNON —

A North Vernon man who worked on former Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan’s campaign in 2011 was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of voter fraud.

Michael L. Marshall, 60, pled guilty to three counts of voter fraud, all class D felonies, related to issues of him securing absentee ballots and submitting applications in Jennings County in 2010.

Jennings County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan W. Webster sentenced Marshall to 18 months in prison with nine months suspended, and assessed fees and fines that totaled about $450. The maximum amount of time Marshall could spend behind bars is nine months.

With credit for good-time served, Jennings County Clerk Mary Kilgore said Marshall will likely serve four-and-a-half months in prison.

Marshall’s attorney, Larry Wilder, of Jeffersonville, explained that once his client fulfills his sentence, the voter fraud charges will be reduced from class D felonies to class A misdemeanors.

“I think the judge was very fair,” Wilder said Wednesday. “[Marshall] understands what he did was wrong.”

Wilder added that his client was pleased he was able to retain his liquor license for a tavern he owns in North Vernon, despite pleading guilty to the charges. Wilder said it is his livelihood.

The three charges Marshall pled guilty to were the result of falsifying absentee ballot applications for his brother, Robert Marshall; his son, Vernon Marshall; and his former roommate, Kevin Phelps.

“Mike admitted today that he executed their name on them to secure their ballots,” Wilder said. “He accepted full responsibility and apologized.”

A Jennings County grand jury originally issued 66 indictments against Marshall, his son Christopher Marshall and a third Jennings resident, John Cook, after an investigation by the Indiana State Police. Marshall had faced 48 felony counts, including forgery and perjury, both class C felonies, and 23 counts of voter fraud.

Marshall was also in charge of soliciting absentee ballots in the re-election campaign for Galligan in 2011. He resigned from Galligan’s campaign when he was initially indicted in Jennings County on the voter fraud, perjury and forgery charges.

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