‘I Am Guilty’: Wyoming National Guard Soldier Gets 36 Months For Child Porn

A Wyoming National Guard soldier was sentenced Thursday to 36 months in prison for having child pornography. “I am guilty,” he told the judge, and said he takes “full responsibility for what I’ve done.”

DK
Dale Killingbeck

December 01, 20234 min read

The federal courthouse in Casper, Wyoming.
The federal courthouse in Casper, Wyoming. (Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily)

CASPER — Admitting guilt and saying he takes “full responsibility for what I’ve done,” a Wyoming National Guard soldier will spend the next 36 months in prison for possessing child pornography.

Sgt. First Class Daniel Gene Gumm was sentenced Thursday in Wyoming U.S. District Court by Judge Scott Skavdahl, who dropped a second charge of knowingly distributing child pornography.

Gumm, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and tie, addressed the court,reading from a written statement while pausing to wipe tears. His remarks to the court followed those of this wife and father, who characterized the charges as completely out of character for the father of two and community-minded volunteer.

‘I Am Guilty’

“I am willing to face whatever the sentence is,” Gumm said. “I am guilty and I take full responsibility for what’ve done. I am going to continue to use this experience to help someone else.”

Gumm told the court he had been severely depressed and went to the dark side of the internet to explore ways he could kill himself. During that exploration he became exposed to child pornography and admitted sharing what he found.

“I’m 35 years old, I’ve been an outstanding person except for two months of my life,” he said. Then he turned and apologized to his father and wife for his dishonesty and the impact his actions are having on them.

“In a lot of ways this has changed my life for the better,” he added.

Gumm also said his actions caused him to lose his job at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office in Cheyenne, and he faces other proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Prosecutor’s Recommendation 78 Months

U.S. Attorney Christine Martens asked the judge to stay within the sentencing guidelines for the case of 78 to 97 months.

Gumm’s attorney, Joshua Morseal of Laramie, called the case “atypical” and asked for a sentence below the guidelines. He asked the court to apply a sentence reflecting that, though Gumm had viewed a handful of images, he deleted them and sought help before any law enforcement became involved.

“A month before the investigation he already made the decision to remove himself from this illegal activity,” he said.

Gumm’s wife Danielle presented photos of the family to the judge and said her husband’s actions reflect the man she married and watched raise children and serve in the community.

“I do not condone what he did,” she said. “I’m disappointed that he did not reach out to me when he was struggling. It was a lapse of judgment.”

In imposing the sentence, Judge Skavdahl noted the comments from the family and letters received on Gumm’s behalf. He disagreed with Morseal that the case is atypical.

“I loathe these cases because typically individuals do not have a criminal history,” he said.

The judge emphasized the impact of child pornography on the lives of the children who are exploited and the psychological damage they will carry with them for the rest of their days.

Positive Step

The judge said he was ready to impose 70 months, but seeing Gumm apologize to his family and take accountability for his actions was a positive step.

“Thirty-six months is sufficient,” he said.

Along with the sentence, Gumm was assessed costs of $2,500 and $5,000 for sex crime-related funds. The judge did not impose a fine and ordered five years’ probation following his sentence.

The defense attorney asked the judge to consider allowing Gumm to turn himself over to federal marshals after Christmas so he could spend time with his family.

Martens said the statute involved required immediate incarceration. The judge agreed but gave Gumm 15 more minutes to spend with his family before he turned himself in to marshals down the hall.

“Don’t do anything stupid, Mr. Gumm,” Skavdahl said. “I wish you the best of luck.”

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

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