Chief Tom Lewis

Michael Hirsh

Judge Devin George is expected to rule on a defense motion to dismiss a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence against Punta Gorda’s suspended police chief, Tom Lewis this week. The charge grows out of last August’s death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton as she participated in a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters.

Apparent negligence by the Punta Gorda Police Department resulted in the shooting death of a senior citizen last August as she volunteered in a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at police headquarters. The officer who fired the shot has been charged with felony manslaughter. He was fired and is appealing his termination this week. The city’s police chief, Tom Lewis, is charged with misdemeanor culpable negligence. He is on paid administrative leave.