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Jury Recommends 3 Years in Slaying by Ex-Officer

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Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

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CULPEPER, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A jury in Culpeper Circuit Court recommended a three-year sentence for a former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman last February.

Jurors on Tuesday convicted Daniel Harmon-Wright, 33, of voluntary manslaughter in the Feb. 9, 2012, death of Culpeper resident Patricia Ann Cook, 54. Harmon-Wright claimed he shot Cook after she attempted to drive away in her vehicle with his arm caught in the window.

Harmon-Wright faced up to 25 years in prison. A judge is scheduled to sentence Harmon-Wright on April 10. The judge could decrease the jury’s recommended sentence but not increase it.

Earlier Friday, a judge ruled against Harmon-Wright’s attorneys who were seeking a mistrial because jurors consulted a dictionary and thesaurus while deliberating. They claimed jurors who convicted Harmon-Wright consulted a dictionary to guide their deliberations on the meaning of “malice,” indicating they were confused about jury instructions.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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