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Felony hit-and-run charges against fired Manchester officer reduced to misdemeanors
When arrested in late March, Coco faced two Class B felony conduct after an accident, each of which carries a 3 1/2 to seven-year prison sentence.
The misdemeanor charges are "part of a prosecution strategy. It would be unprofessional for me to say anything more at this time," Hathaway said.
A Class A misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail, a penalty that can be reduced by four months if the inmate behaves well in jail.
However, prosecutors are forbidden to publicly discuss any plea negotiations before they are brought before a judge.
The new charges also spell out a new wrinkle in the case. They allege that Coco was "attempting to access information on a cell phone," which interfered with his ability to maintain control of the car.
Within days, Manchester Police Chief David Mara fired Coco from his $84,000-a-year job, which included work in the department's drug investigations unit. Police found he had violated numerous department regulations.
The new charges were filed Thursday, the same day a Hillsborough County grand jury was sitting.
On July 17, Hathaway requested a 60-day extension.
Superior Court Judge Gillan Abramson granted the extension, but noted the prosecution "has utterly failed to explain its ongoing delay."
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