Police officer, chief charged for fatal training demo
A Florida police officer and his superior were charged this week for the deadly shooting of a retired librarian at a community policing event last summer.
The state attorney’s office announced Wednesday manslaughter charges for Punta Gorda Police Department’s officer Lee Coel, and charges of culpable negligence for Chief Tom Lewis.
Coel, 28, turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday, more than seven months since he accidentally killed 73-year-old Mary Knowlton with a loaded revolver during a community training session. For the felony charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Lewis, who was served with a summons, could see up to 60 days in jail for the 2nd degree misdemeanor.
State Attorney Stephen Russell explained at a press conference his office was able to illustrate exactly what happened by reviewing a large volume of evidence and interviews, but it could still take weeks before the Florida Department of Law Enforcement release a report on the Aug. 9 shooting.