After spending the next three years in jail for trying to defraud the One Fund Boston, two South End brothers will have to spend 468 hours performing community service for amputees and people with brain injuries.
In an extremely rare move, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke let Branden Mattier, 23, and Domunique Grice, 28, choose their fate during Monday’s sentencing hearing: five years in jail or three years and a day in jail, three years of probation and six hours of targeted community service every other Saturday for three years after their release from prison.
Mattier and Grice, who were found guilty earlier this month of charges including conspiracy to commit larceny, chose less jail time and community service.
“Community service will be focused on serving those injured by either loss of limb or brain injury – the very population that Mr. Mattier and Mr. Grice sought to defraud,” Locke said. “That may include, I don’t know, building handicapped ramps. It may include serving as an aide at a rehabilitation facility. It may include changing bedpans, but it is serving that population of injured individuals.”
Mattier filed a false claim to the One Fund shortly after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that named his already deceased aunt as an amputee. Investigators discovered it was a false claim and prosecutors said Mattier and Grice exchanged text messages in which they discussed buying new Mercedes Benz cars as they waited for their $2.1 million claim.
Defense attorneys requested that the men be sentenced to five years of probation, citing their clean record.
Mattier, who has a three-month-old daughter, talked in court about growing up without a father and wanting to be a good father for his child. He apologized to his family for putting them through the ordeal. Grice said he’s learned from the experience and apologized, but Locke took issue with the men not specifically apologizing to the victims.
“What is absolutely shocking is the lack of any recognition of the broader community of victims in this case,” Locke said. “One community of victims … are the thousands of people who made donations of their time, of their services, or of their dollars with no connection whatsoever to the Boston Marathon, yet they made donations.”
Before the end of the hearing, Mattier’s attorney filed a notice of appeal.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.