FEBRUARY 16, 2006 -- Murder charges have been dropped against a man accused of shooting a Wilmington police officer, but he's not a free man.
Kenneth Saylor shot in the direction of Officer Jean Marcel in December of 2004. Marcel was struck in the right foot. Saylor then fled by taking a swim across the Cape Fear River. He was captured on the other side.
Thursday, authorities dropped the attempted first degree murder charge, in part because of Saylor's mental condition. In a plea deal, Saylor pleaded guilty to two assault charges. He could serve as many as seven years in jail and will receive psychiatric treatment. The plea bargain also says Saylor must pay $2,000 for damage to Wilmington police property.