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article imageCosta Concordia Captain Schettino sought a plea bargain, rejected

By Marcus Hondro     May 14, 2013 in Crime
Francesco Schettino, captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia when it hit a reef and partially sank early last year, tried to plea bargain with the prosecutors handling his case. Looking for a prison term of 3 years, 4 months, he was flatly turned down.
Thirty-two people, passengers and crew, died Jan. 13, 2012 when Schettino ordered his ship too close to the shore of the island of Giglio in Italy's Tuscan Bay. There are transcripts of the bridge in which Schettino can be heard giving the order to 'salute' a former colleague on Giglio before the 114,000 tonnes ship hit a reef and tore a massive hole in the side.
Judge to determine if charges go ahead
While a judge is still examining documents from a recent preliminary trial to determine if in fact Schettino can be tried, his legal team's efforts to strike a plea bargain suggest they feel the judge will rule there is sufficient evidence to go to court.
There are 5 others who had also been charged, four Schettino subordinates from the ship and Costa Cruises fleet crisis coordinator, Roberto Ferrarini. Those 5 all sought a plea bargain and all were accepted by prosecutors, leaving the possibility of their being just one trial, that of Schettino..
Schettino's lawyer, Francesco Pepe, minimized being turned down by prosecutors, saying they were only going along with the other defendants. "We weren't planning on requesting a plea bargain," Pepe told media. "But when we saw the development in the hearing, we were practically obliged to do so."
If found guilty of manslaughter and causing a shipwreck, the 53-year-old Schettino could face up to 20 years in prison; he's also been charged with abandoning his ship. The ship has yet to be removed from its position 300 meters off Giglio, but Titan Salvage of America and an Italian company, Micoperi, are working to refloat it and tow it to Piombino port for scrapping.
More about Costa Concordia, Captain Francesco Schettino, franceso schettino, plea baragain turned down by costa concordia prose
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