Dontrell Stephens pleads guilty, gets house arrest

Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 07:13:14-05

Dontrell Stephens, a 23-year-old man shot and paralyzed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy, will spend the next nine 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 yearafter 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 amulti-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 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.