Costa Concordia's Sobbing Captain Gets 16 Years

Francesco Schettino claims 'entire organization' should have been on trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2015 1:41 PM CST
Costa Concordia's Sobbing Captain Gets 16 Years
Francesco Schettino at his trial in the Grosseto court, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia luxury liner has been convicted of multiple charges of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in jail, closing down a trial that's been running since July 2013 and ending one of the more jaw-dropping and avoidable maritime disasters in recent memory, reports the AP. Francesco Schettino, accused of tipping over the massive cruise ship in early 2012 and abandoning ship as 32 people aboard lost their lives, told the court that his "head was sacrificed" to safeguard his employer's economic interests, then broke down in sobs immediately before the panel began deliberating his fate.

"That's enough," Schettino said, unable to finish his statement. He also claimed that he was "a few hours from a verdict that should have involved an entire organization and instead sees me as the only defendant." Prosecutors begged to differ, insisting Schettino was a "reckless idiot," and asked the court to convict him and sentence him to 26 years and three months in prison. Lawyers for many of the survivors and victims' families have attached civil suits to the criminal trial to press the court to order Costa Crociere SpA, the Italian cruise company, to pay hefty damages. (More Francesco Schettino stories.)

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