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Former police officer accepts plea deal in accidental fatal shooting

Credit: FOX 4 Now Florida
Published on October 17, 2019 - Duration: 02:14s

Former police officer accepts plea deal in accidental fatal shooting

A judge has accepted a plea deal in his manslaughter case.

Under the agreement, Lee Coel will not serve any jail time and gets 10 years probation.

Coel will no longer be allowed to work in law enforcement and will serve community service time.

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Former police officer accepts plea deal in accidental fatal shooting

TRAIL ON AIR AND ONLINE AT FOX 4NOW DOT COM AND THROUGH THE FOX4 NEWS APP.A CASE COMES TO A CLOSEBUTTODAY A JUDGE SAYS IT’S ALOSE-LOSE SITUATION FOR BOTH THEVICTIM’S FAMILY AND THEDEFENDANT.A JUDGE ACCEPTED A PLEA DEAL FORLEE COELTHE FORMER PUNTA GORDAPOLICE OFFICER WHO ACCIDENTALLYKILLED MARY KNOWLTON.FOX 4’S RACHEL LOYD’S LIVEDOWNTOWN WHERE COURT JUSWRAPPED UP A FEW HOURS AGO.RACHEL, WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THATCOURTROOM?IT WAS VERY TENSE IN COURTTODAY.

COEL STARTED CRYING AS HESAID HE REPLAYS THIS ACCIDENTOVER AND OVER IN HIS HEAD.

ANDMARY KNOWLTON’S SON SAID COEL ISNOT THE ONLY PERSON AT FAULTHERE.I don’t know if I’ll everforgive myself for whathappened.LEE COEL READ HIS FINASTATEMENT TO JUDGE MARGARETSTEINBECK IN BETWEEN SOBS.I can remember trying to saveMs. Knowlton, still not knowingwhat had happened.I will forgive someday with thehelp of God.KNOWLTON’S SON STEVE ALSO SHAREDHOW HE FELT WITH THE JUDGEBEFORE SHE APPROVED COEL’S PLEADEALDOWNGRADING THE CHARGESFROM FIRST DEGREE MANSLAUGHTERTO SECOND DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER.SENTENCING HIM TO TEN YEARS OFPROBATION.COEL ACCIDENTALLY SHOT ANDKILLED 73-YEAR-OLD MARYKNOWLTON...A RETIRED LIBRARIANDURING A 20-16 "SHOOTDON’TSHOOT DEMONSTRATION" IN PUNTAGORDA.I feel like a lot of peopledidn’t do their job.KNOWLTON SAID OTHER PEOPLESHOULD’VE BEEN HELD RESPONSIBLELIKE THE PERSON WHO LOADEDCOEL’S GUN WITH REAL BULLETSINSTEAD OF BLANKS.

HE SAYS HEDOESN’T FEEL LIKE JUSTICE WASSERVEDBUT AFTER HEARING COEL’SSTATEMENTHE SAID HE FORGIVESHIM.I understand Lee Coel is inrough shape.

I’d have to beinhuman to wish the worst forhim.THE PLEA MEANS COEL WON’T SIT INFRONT OF A JURY TO DETERMINE HISSENTENCEBUT WITH TSECOND-DEGREE CHARGEHE CANAPPLY TO SERVE THE SENTENCEOUTSIDE THE STATE OF FLORIDA.AND THE JUDGE ALSO SAID IF COELHAPPENS TO VIOLATE HIS PROBA

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