Prosecutors Let Deputy Avoid Jail Despite Pulling Gun In Road Rage Incident (InformationLiberation)
Thursday May 1st, 2014
From the Tampa Bay Times:
TAMPA — A former Hillsborough County sheriff's detective who pulled a gun on a schoolteacher during a road rage incident is poised to avoid jail time or a criminal record through a deal offered by prosecutors, the deputy's attorney said. Watch the video:
Thomas Pettis, 55, has been approved by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office for its misdemeanor intervention program, according to his attorney, Norman Cannella Sr. of Tampa. As a result, a misdemeanor battery charge against him will be dropped if he completes community service with the Salvation Army, Cannella said.
The resolution is a mild one for Pettis, who initially faced potential charges of battery and aggravated assault with a firearm, the latter offense a felony punishable by at least three years in prison. It likely will stoke further questions about whether Pettis, a veteran homicide detective and state witness on dozens of pending cases, has received unusually favorable treatment.
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, the state attorney is the one whose opinion counts," Cannella said. "Seasoned assistant state attorneys obviously have greater insight than the average citizen, who's not steeped or learned in the criminal justice system."