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He Admitted Killing His Wife at Sea. Now He Learns His Fate

Lewis Bennett to be reunited with daughter in 8 years
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2019 12:00 PM CDT
Lewis Bennett   (Broward County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – He faced up to eight years in prison, and that's what he got. Lewis Bennett—who admitted to involuntary manslaughter in the May 2017 death of his wife at sea, three months after their wedding—received eight years in federal prison at his Tuesday sentencing in Miami, reports ABC News. The 42-year-old is already serving a seven-month sentence for smuggling gold and silver coins. Bennett was found clutching the coins, previously reported stolen from his employer, in a life raft as his vessel was scuttled, per the Guardian. Bennett claimed he'd woken to a loud noise only to find no trace of 41-year-old Isabella Hellmann, who'd been manning the deck.

Though her body was never found, authorities charged Bennett with second-degree murder, citing evidence that the boat had been intentionally sunk en route from Cuba to their home in Florida. After pleading guilty to the lesser charge, Bennett—a dual citizen of Australia and the UK—requested a seven-year sentence, hoping to be sooner reunited with his 2-year-old daughter, who's being cared for by his parents in Scotland, reports the BBC. Bennett was ordered to pay $22,910 in restitution to the child at the sentencing hearing, in which he apologized to Hellmann's family. He'll spend three years on supervised release once his term is up. (More on the case here.)

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