Former Punta Gorda Police officer Lee Coel had his day in court yesterday. He was charged with manslaughter for the 2016 killing of retired librarian Mary Knowlton.
Justice was certainly not served.
Rather than receiving the 15 years imprisonment he was facing, Coel was allowed to plead no-contest to second degree manslaughter. Charlotte County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Steinbeck sentenced Coel to 10 years of probation and withheld adjudication of guilt. So, if Coel successfully completes his probation, the whole thing disappears.
It’s like that song from Reba McEntire:
Well, don’t trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer
‘Cause the judge in the town’s got bloodstains on his hands