Stephens pleads guilty, gets house arrest - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Stephens pleads guilty, gets house arrest

Dontrell Stephens, a 23-year-old man shot and paralyzed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy, will spend the next 9 months on house arrest after pleading guilty to drug charges.

He pleaded guilty Monday to the sale of cocaine, marijuana, and a controlled substance that was supposed to contain codeine. He was  arrested last year after investigators said he sold drugs in front of the Royal Palm Beach YMCA daycare.

The arrest came three years after Stephens was shot by a sheriff’s deputy in a case that received national attention and resulted in a multi-million-dollar verdict against the deputy and the sheriff’s office.

In September 2013, Stephens was shot and paralyzed by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Adams Lin, after Lin stopped Stephens for riding his bicycle into traffic.

Lin opened fire four seconds after getting out of his patrol car, he says, because Stephens was reaching in his back waistband. Lin told investigators he believed Stephens had a gun.

Stephens was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the injuries from the shooting.

Lin was cleared of criminal charges.

Last year a federal jury awarded Stephens nearly $23 million dollars for medical expenses and his pain and suffering.  He has yet to collect.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is only required to pay $200,000, but is currently appealing. The appeal goes to court in March.

Stephens and his lawyers have to go to Tallahassee and ask lawmakers for a special bill to cover the rest, if approved.

Stephens' lawyer says he is expected to be released from jail Tuesday, and will spend the rest of his sentence on house arrest.

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