Lee Coel files to end 10-year probation early for death of Mary Knowlton

Published: July 14, 2022 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: July 15, 2022 5:58 AM EDT
FILE Photo of former Punta Gorda Police Officer Lee Coel and Librarian Mary Knowlton from December 2016. Credit: WINK News.

Former Punta Gorda police officer Lee Coel, who shot and killed an elderly woman during a demonstration in 2016, filed in May for early termination of his probation.

Lee Coel was sentenced to 10 years probation and to pay restitution after a plea deal was reached to avoid trial and jail time. Coel shot and killed retired librarian Mary Knowlton during a “Shoot Don’t Shoot” demonstration with the Punta Gorda Citizens Academy.

Coel changed his plea from not guilty to no contest on a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter.

A hearing on this motion is set for 3 p.m. on July 25. It will be held in the Lee County Circuit Court before Judge Margaret Steinbeck.