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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