A former Punta Gorda police officer who accidentally shot and killed a woman during a citizens academy exercise is going on trial this fall.

30-year-old Lee Coel’s manslaughter trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 15. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
Coel mistakenly shot and killed 73-year-old Mary Knowlton during a role-playing scenario. Coel was fired in March 2017, shortly after being criminally charged.

The city’s former police chief had been charged with misdemeanor culpable negligence related to the shooting, but a jury acquitted him in June 2017. He was fired two months later following the city’s own investigation.