LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A former Jefferson County Constable pleads guilty to shooting a woman in a Wal-Mart parking lot, allowing him to avoid a trial.
David Whitlock entered an Alford plea Tuesday morning, meaning he didn't directly admit to the charges against him, but acknowledged the prosecution likely had enough evidence to convict him.
As part of that plea agreement, Whitlock will be placed in a diversion program for one year and if he stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed.
Whitlock was on trial for the November 2011 shooting of Tammie Ortiz in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
According to witnesses and a video of the incident, she was fleeing store security after allegedly shoplifting when Whitlock shot her.
At the time, he claimed she ran over his foot, then later said the gun went off accidentally.
Under the plea agreement, Whitlock will have to pay the victim's medical bills, stay away from her, he cannot possess a firearm for a year and must stay out of law enforcement permanently. If he stays out of trouble for one year, the case will be dismissed.
If Whitlock ever violates the agreement, he will have to serve five years in prison.
“He had a passion for law enforcement, but David was much more concerned about his future and the future of his family,” Whitlock’s attorney Brian Butler said. “Anytime he has an opportunity to be good for a year and have these matters dismissed, that was a good resolution for him. “
“If you go in front of a jury, he would have been entitled to a misdemeanor instruction and with a misdemeanor conviction,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Van De Rostyne said. “We could not guarantee he couldn't be a constable or law enforcement officer in the future. “