Mary Knowlton

Michael Hirsh

Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik is waiting for the results of an internal affairs report before he decides whether suspended Police Chief Tom Lewis keeps or loses his job. Lewis was acquitted of culpable negligence the last week of June in the death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton during a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters last August.

Photo: Michael Hirsh, WGCU

Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik is waiting for the results of an internal affairs report before he decides whether suspended Police Chief Tom Lewis keeps or loses his job. Lewis was acquitted of culpable negligence the last week of June in the death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton during a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters last August.

Michael Hirsh

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis is not guilty of culpable negligence stemming from the shooting death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton while participating in a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at police headquarters last August. The jury reached a verdict Thursday afternoon. 

It took three hours of deliberation for the jury of four men and two women to find Chief Lewis not guilty.

Michael Hirsh

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of suspended Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis. He’s charged with culpable negligence in the shooting death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton during a shoot/don’t shoot scenario conducted as part of a Citizens Academy at police headquarters last August.

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.

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