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Lee Coel plea gets no jail time in plea deal

Posted: 3:10 PM, Oct 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-18 10:49:10-04
Lee Coel in court 10-16-19.jpg
Lee Coel Mary Knowlton.jpg

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- There are new developments in the case of a former Punta Gorda Police officer involved in a deadly accidental shooting at citizen's academy event in 2016.

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.

Lee Coel is accused of shooting and killing Mary Knowlton with a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks not bullets.

He was later fired and charged with first degree manslaughter in the case. That charge has now been changed to second degree manslaughter.

A jury trial was slated to begin October 22nd.

RELATED: Punta Gorda Police Chief found not guilty in culpable negligence trial | Mary Knowlton remembered in Punta Gorda | City approves settlement in death of Mary Knowlton