Man, 71, gets 12 years in prison for shooting deputy

Lexington County Sheriff's Office.PNG
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 14:50:33-05

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — A 71-year-old man who shot a police officer in the head with birdshot during a standoff at a South Carolina home has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Mark Cote pleaded guilty Thursday to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, third-degree domestic violence and malicious injury to property in the September 2020 shooting, the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said in a statement.

The Lexington County deputy survived, but told the judge it took an emotional toll on him, prosecutors said.

Cote appeared in court in a wheelchair after having a leg amputated and apologized through his attorney to the deputy and others, officials said.

Officers were called to Cote’s home after his wife said he attacked her for giving him prescription medicine without his knowledge, investigators said.

Cote shot the deputy after the officer ordered him to drop his shotgun, prosecutors said.

That led to a standoff with State Law Enforcement Division agents for more than 10 hours where Cote was shot and a police robot sent into get video inside the home was damaged, authorities said.

Cote will not be eligible for parole.