Plea deal apparently reached in newlywed’s disappearance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A man who was charged with murder after his newlywed wife disappeared as they were sailing near the Bahamas has apparently reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami filed a new information Friday charging 41-year-old Lewis Bennett with involuntary manslaughter and dropped second-degree murder charges. Bennett is scheduled to change his not-guilty plea Monday in the May 2017 disappearance of 41-year-old Isabella Hellman.

Bennett told the FBI the Palm Beach County couple was sailing when he went into a cabin to sleep. He said their catamaran hit something and when he went outside, his wife was gone. She was never found. Investigators said they found evidence Bennett had intentionally tried to sink the boat.

Bennett already pleaded guilty to transporting $100,000 in stolen coins.

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