Phony student sentenced to jail

A 23-year-old California man who tried to register as a student at Douglas High School was sentenced Monday to six months in jail to be served concurrent to two years he is serving in Santa Clara, Calif., for a probation violation.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Bradley J. Coushman in absentia, bringing to a close a case which arose Sept. 11, 2006, when Coushman was arrested trying to enroll at Douglas High School.

Coushman pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a document to establish false identification.

If treated as a felony, Coushman faced up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Gibbons elected to sentence the offense as a misdemeanor.

At the time of the incident, Coushman was on five years probation in California for felony burglary. Because of the Douglas County conviction, his probation was revoked and Coushman was sentenced to two years in prison which he is serving in Santa Clara County.

"Because of his arrest in this case, he suffered very serious consequences," Gibbons said. "He attempted to use a false identification. It went no further than this."

Lawyer Tod Young requested Gibbons sentence the offense as a misdemeanor.

"This was not an incident where someone was harmed, or their credit damaged," Young said. "It was not a crime of violence."

Young said his client was immature.

"He had been living a rich fantasy life," Young said. "He didn't have a lot of friends and had a very difficult time coming to grips with who he really is."

Coushman was arrested Sept. 11, 2006, on the high school campus after he tried to enroll with a passport altered to show his age as 17, but he was 22 at the time.


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