/ Gentle Reformation

The Sentencing

As I shared last month (see here), the man who shot my son-in-law, Tommy Mangan, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer, was found guilty of all nine counts against him. Two of those counts were for attempted murder against Tommy and his Field Training Officer, Daniel Majors. Yesterday afternoon, the court sentencing took place.

The proceedings took place under the capable leadership of the Honorable Judge Angela Davis. The prosecuting attorney called seven witnesses to the stand to give Victim Impact Statements. The first three witnesses were fellow police officers, two of whom were there the night of the shooting. Their expert testimony and professionalism helped all of us there to understand how perilous that evening was. In order, the next witnesses were my daughter Emory, myself, Tommy's sister Becky, and then Tommy himself.

Tommy's methodical testimony, given through his now raspy voice, recounted his few memories of the night and then all the damage the bullet had done to him in the aftermath. His sister, Becky, had shared the hard realities Tommy now faces, such things as losing the career he desired, being stared at in public, his difficulties in breathing and eating, not being able to participate in athletics, frequent migraines, and psychological concerns. As Tommy further explained the impact of that fateful night, as heavy as it was to hear of his injuries, what stood out most was his indomitable spirit and incredible servant's heart. When at the end of his testimony he finally spoke directly to his shooter, the room became noticeably quiet. He bravely told Mr. Hill his actions were evil, spoke of Christ, and called him to repentance. The power of his testimony gripped the courtroom and visibly affected the judge.

Emory's testimony was also incredible, as she recounted from her perspective what that awful night was like for her. As a physician's assistant, she then carefully explained the comprehensive medical issues Tommy now faces. She went on to describe how that night stole so much from them as a couple, including for now the ability to have children that they so greatly desire. Yet she too showed forth a courageous spirit as she offered Mr. Hill the freedom found in the gospel if only he would repent. Hearing my sweet daughter open up and share her broken heart before all made my testimony which followed far more teary than I had expected.

Judge Angela Davis was an outstanding judge. Despite Mr. Hill's ongoing antics and continued statements of innocence, she quietly spoke directly to him with firmness over all the aggravated circumstances that were informing her judgments. She then went through each count and pronounced his sentence. She gave him forty years on the first count of attempted murder of Tommy, the maximum the law allows. On the second count of attempted murder on Officer Majors, she gave thirty-five years and said these sentences would be served consecutively, not concurrently. By the time she was done, she sentenced him to 87 years in prison with no hope of parole. You can read more about this and see a couple of local newscast videos here.

What impressed me further about Judge Davis is the compassion that she expressed to Tommy & Emory, Officer Majors, and others who had suffered. She especially spent time commending Tommy's wonderful spirit and heroism, and how she fully expects to see him serving wonderfully in a new career someday.

Below is the testimony I gave. Tommy and Emory asked that I would address Mr. Hill.


Honorable Judge Angela Davis,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Barry York, and I am the father of my dear daughter, Emory Mangan, whom you have just heard. Tommy is my son-in-law. I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I serve as the President and Professor of Pastoral Theology & Homiletics of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the fourth-oldest seminary in the country. For over two decades, I served as a local pastor in Kokomo, Indiana, north of here. I share my vocation because being a professor who teaches others to serve local communities means that matters of truth, justice, and mercy are at the heart of what I have devoted my life to promoting.

I have known Tommy for much of his life. He is a dear childhood friend to my son, Spencer, who is here in this courtroom. Knowing him so well, when he announced his intention to pursue my daughter and later asked for her hand in marriage, my wife and I were delighted. The sweet nature of this man, the sacrificial love I have seen in him, the servant’s heart he consistently displays, and many other incredible qualities I could describe mean that Tommy has become a beloved son to me.

On Sunday, February 27, 2022, slightly before midnight, I received a call from Emory. As this time of night is not a usual time she would call, my concern as I answered was confirmed by her trembling voice. I heard her say to me, “Dad, Tommy has been shot and I do not know if he will make it.” My heart sank. Five nights before this call, I had just been in Indiana on a work trip and stayed with Tommy and Emory. The scene of Tommy coming home the morning I was there as a newly minted police officer, joyfully telling me what his night shift has been like, came to mind as I talked and prayed with my terrified daughter.

The next day, after traveling back to Indiana, I walked past the IMPD officer posted in the ICU and came into Tommy’s room. Tommy was propped up in his bed, with tubes hooked up to beeping machines. A trach tube in his throat made it impossible for him to speak. Yet, Tommy put up his arms to hug me, then quickly grabbed a notebook and pen to write this question to me: “Granddad (his nickname for me), how do we glorify God through this time?” Astounded, I am here to testify that Tommy’s desire to serve his family, his desire to serve this community, and his desire to serve as a police officer are all motivated by a greater desire to serve His God. Even a bullet through his throat could not halt that desire.

Honorable Judge Davis, the desire to honor Tommy’s wishes to glorify God is why I speak today. For the God of heaven is one of justice, which is what your office represents. On behalf of Tommy and Emory’s families, I want to thank you for the commendable way you presided over the trial, leading the proceedings which concluded with a jury unanimously finding Mr. Hill guilty of all nine counts against him.

Mr. Hill spent eight years in prison for an armed robbery. Then, as you heard from my daughter, after his release he violated his parole, committed another robbery, and then was released on a $500 bail at the beginning of February 2022. He shot Tommy by month’s end. He should not have been out on the streets. Last month, in your courtroom and before your presence, he showed no responsibility or remorse for his crimes that have so altered our families’ lives. I plead with you on behalf of the Mangan and York Families, as well as for the community of Indianapolis, to please sentence Mr. Hill to the full measure of his crimes so that other people are not hurt by him.

Your Honor, I wish I could use the remainder of my time to further thank you, the brave police officers including Tommy’s FTO Daniel Majors who saved his life from further gunshots that night, the emergency personnel who came to the scene which spared Tommy from death, the surgeons and nurses and hospital staff and counselors who have helped Tommy over these past two years, the community of Indianapolis who has acknowledged repeatedly his heroism, his church, family, and friends who have walked with him through this valley. But I believe I need to use this time to address Mr. Hill.

Mr. Hill, the Bible says to be angry and yet not sin. In so doing, it is instructing me to direct my anger over what you did to my family toward true justice and not lash out at you with sinful speech. By God’s grace, that is what I will do now.

For three days before Judge Davis, a jury, and my family, you stood in this courtroom as your own advocate and sought to defend yourself. You blamed Officer Majors for shooting Tommy. You invoked racism. You claimed police corruption. In short, you tried everything in your power to say you were innocent. No one was fooled. The forensic evidence, police witnesses, video testimony, and your foolish actions proved your guilt. The jury and everyone in the courtroom, including yourself, knew that you were guilty. You sought to advocate and defend yourself. As a result, I believe Judge Davis will put you in prison for the remainder of your life.

But Mr. Hill, listen to me when I say that shooting Tommy and then defending your actions, as heinous as they are, were made worse when you stood in this court as your own advocate, invoked the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then proceeded to tell lie after lie. In so doing, you became guilty of the grave sin of blasphemy. As a preacher of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I must warn you. Because of Christ’s faithfulness to die for His people’s sins, God raised him from the dead and the Lord has ascended to heaven. He now rules as the supreme Judge. He will return one day to judge all mankind. On that great day, if you try to stand before His holiness as your own advocate, you will face the consequences of the eternal judgment of hell. Mr. Hill, you are in far greater trouble than what this sentencing will bring. You should admit your guilt, acknowledge the evil you have done to Tommy and others, and seek the forgiveness that only Christ can grant.

May Judge Davis give you the judgment your crimes deserve. May the Judge of all the earth show mercy to your soul.

Respectfully Submitted,

Barry York