Strother Firefighter Found Not Guilty In Death Of Fellow Firefighter

Thursday, January 30th 2014, 1:09 pm
By: News 9

A Seminole County jury finds Strother Firefighter Harold Sims not guilty of manslaughter.

Prosecutors charged Sims in connection with the death of fellow firefighter Chaplain Dale Patterson in February 2013.

6/18/2013 Related Story: Former Strother Firefighter Charged In Death Of Fellow Firefighter

Sims was accused of punching Patterson in the face during an altercation at the Strother Firehouse on February 15, 2013. Patterson died as a result of the injuries.

During the three day trial, the state called several witnesses including Strother Fire Chief Nic Nadeau and other firefighters who witnessed the altercation.

The jury deliberated for more than five hours on Wednesday before acquitting Sims.

"The Strother Fire Department still misses Dale, but we are glad that this is behind us," Chief Nadeau said after hearing the not guilty verdict. "We can move forward now."

Sims has been on administrative leave since the altercation. No word on if he plans to return to the job.