Captain insists on plea deal in Italian shipwreck

2:46 PM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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The cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank on January 13, 2012 after hitting a coral reef off the coast of Italy. Among the 32 who died were two Minnesotans.

ROME - The captain who is the only defendant on trial for the 2012 shipwreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia off the Italian coast is trying anew for a plea bargain deal.

Francesco Schettino's trial resumed on Wednesday in Grosseto, Italy, after a week's suspension due to a lawyers' strike.

His lawyer, Donato Laino, told reporters the defense holds out little hope the judge will allow a deal for Schettino to plead guilty in exchange for a three-year-five-month sentence.

Schettino risks up to 20 years if found guilty in a full trial on charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the shipwreck that claimed 32 lives.

A different judge in pretrial hearings rejected Schettino's first bid but let five others bargain for more lenient sentences.

Schettino calls himself an innocent scapegoat.

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