Keon Malone Mangun was sentenced Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, by Judge Conrad Freeberg to 11 years, two months in prison for his role in proximately causing the death of 19-year-old Miranda Gosiak of Little Falls.
Gosiak died of a heroin overdose Feb. 28, 2012, in Little Falls. A Morrison County jury found Mangun guilty of murder in the third degree (heroin) Oct. 30. Mangun sold heroin to Brandon Bedford and Christian Dahn, Feb. 27, 2012, in North Minneapolis.
Judge Freeberg denied Mangun’s motion for a new trial, Dec. 16, 2013. In his order, Freeberg found there was “sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that on the day Gosiak died, Bedford gave her heroin purchased from the defendant and she died as a result.”
At Monday’s hearing, a representative from Hands of Hope Resource Center read two letters from Gosiak’s family. “I hope my sister’s case helps more people have to pay for their actions,” one letter said.
“Mr. Mangun — I hope this helps you be the man and the father your children can look up to,” said the other letter. “How many other families have to endure the same pain we do? I hope that telling Miranda’s story will save just one other person’s life.”
The defense called a witness, Kashonti Mangun, the defendant’s sister.
“For the record, this was discussed in chambers ahead of time and the state objects to this witness, but I am overruling that objection,” Freeberg said.
“He would give you the shirt off his back,” Kashonti said. “He is a loving and gentle father.”
She asked the court to offer leniency during sentencing.
Mangun spoke on his own behalf and asserted that he was wrongly accused because he did not sell the heroin directly to the deceased.
“There is nothing but tragedy in this case all the way around,” said Assistant County Attorney Todd Kosovich. “We lost the young lady, and this young man made choices that put him here today.”
Kosovich noted that Mangun had opportunities in the past to change his ways. He was first charged in 2002, through the Illinois Department of Corrections and went through a boot camp program. He was charged with the sale of heroin two years later in Hennepin County and went through drug court.
“He was not able to change his habits and went to prison for 21 months,” said Kosovich. “Clearly he knows this is not the right way to make a living. He has stated that he supports himself by illegal criminal activity.”
Defense attorney Landon Ascheman reminded the court that “nobody here is innocent; nobody here is blameless. Individuals willingly engaged in the use of a controlled substance, knowing what the consequences could be,” he said.
“I can certainly believe you are a good person, but your acts have been reprehensible,” Freeberg said to Mangun. “You bring a terrible record before this court.”
Mangun’s sentence included a minimum of 89 1/3 months in prison (approximately seven years, 5 months) with a possible 44 2/3 months on supervised release. The length of release time is contingent on Mangun’s good behavior. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay restitution of $19,900.20. He was ordered to provide a DNA sample.
Freeberg denied a motion for a 48-hour furlough for Mangun to put his affairs in order and say goodbye to his family.
“We believe that Mr. Mangun was wrongfully convicted and will be appealing,” Ascheman said.
“I believe it was a fair sentence, given his criminal history and the magnitude of the crime,” Kosovich said.
“Third degree murder charges were filed in this case because a drug dealer is ultimately responsible for the product that they sell,” said County Attorney Brian Middendorf. “The death of another person is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of selling heroin. A jury found that Mr. Mangun sold the heroin that resulted in Miranda Gosiak’s death. Under Minnesota law, this is considered unintentional murder. Hopefully, Mr. Mangun’s sentence will discourage others from selling drugs within our community and around the entire state. Hopefully, this sentence will save lives.”
“Miranda made a difference here today,” said Gosiak family members. “We hope this makes people realize that this drug is destroying lives. We hope that dealers will look at life differently, see how it affects people’s lives and find a different career.”
The Gosiak family knows that Miranda is saving lives. They don’t believe it was a coincidence that the sentencing occurred on the second anniversary of the day Gosiak entered treatment.
Bedford’s pretrial hearing is set for Jan. 15, 2014 before Judge Freeberg. Bedford is being held in the Morrison County Jail with unconditional bail set at $1 million.