updated 12/31/2008 2:17:31 PM ET 2008-12-31T19:17:31

A retired Army colonel has been sentenced to prison for getting a classmate at the Army War College to take a paternity test in his place.

Scott Carlson, 53, was convicted in September on charges that included conspiracy and attempted theft by deception.

His lawyer, Dennis Boyle, said he plans to appeal the sentence the four- to 23-month term in county prison imposed Tuesday by Cumberland County President Judge Edgar Bayley.

Carlson was convicted of arranging for a fellow officer attending the military school in Carlisle to submit a DNA sample and thumbprint for the paternity test in 2006 so he could avoid paying child support for a 10-year-old girl he fathered through an extramarital affair with an enlisted woman.

Boyle said his client had paid child support without a court order for years, but prosecutors said he arranged the ruse with Col. Bruce Adkins in 2006 after the child's mother sought increased court-ordered support.

The scheme was discovered when county domestic relations officials realized that the man who arranged the paternity test was not the same one who took it.

Carlson, who retired from the Army last summer, testified that Adkins took the test without his knowledge.

Adkins, however, said Carlson pressed him to take the paternity test after helping him with his studies at the college, which prepares senior military officers for strategic leadership positions.

Adkins, of Douglasville, Ga., is scheduled for trial in January on identical charges.

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