- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania State Police firearms instructor was sentenced Friday to two weeks in jail in the accidental shooting death of a 26-year-old trooper during a training class.

Richard Schroeter also was sentenced to three to 18 months of house arrest, 150 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and four years’ probation in the death of Trooper David Kedra, The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1WX0ggw ) reported. Schroeter previously pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

At the sentencing hearing in Montgomery County Court, Judge Garrett Page said he was convinced by letters and testimony about Schroeter’s character that he is a good man.

“On this particular day in question, it wasn’t all good,” the judge said. “Someone died.”

Kedra’s relatives expressed anger over the punishment.

“There’s nothing that can bring David back,” his brother Kevin Kedra said. “That’s a fact that I struggle with every day. But there needs to be accountability.”

Schroeter, 43, a Royersford resident who retired from the force earlier this year, stood at the end of the hearing and turned to apologize to Kedra’s family.

“Sorry doesn’t begin to express the feelings I feel,” he said. “I wish I could trade places with him.”

Prosecutors say Schroeter breached safety protocols by failing to ensure his weapon was unloaded and failing to point it away from the direction of everyone present before he squeezed the trigger as Kedra and four other troopers sat in his firearms class Sept. 30.

Kedra, a Philadelphia resident, was engaged to be married. His relatives said that becoming a state trooper fulfilled his dreams.

Witnesses who testified on Schroeter’s behalf said he loved his job and was a volunteer firefighter who stayed home on Friday nights in case a fire call came in.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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