Criminal Justice

Former FSU law student takes plea, gets 3 years for shooting fellow student in the back

A former Florida State University law student was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for shooting another student in the back in 2012.

The victim, identified in 2012 news reports as Tyler Thomas, then a second-year law student, objected to the sentence. Thomas told the judge he thought Jeffrey Heller, 26, should have gotten more time for nearly killing him, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Thomas told police Heller shot him after he tossed a glassful of water at Heller. Then Heller drove him to the emergency room and left him.

Heller, who was reportedly a third-year law student at the time, told police he had no recollection of the incident, which occurred at his home after he left a bar. He told them he’d awakened the next morning in a stranger’s vehicle, which was near his own in a parking garage.

“The victim was not happy with the plea deal, but we were very happy with the plea deal considering the exposure,” Heller’s lawyer, Tim Jansen, told the newspaper. Heller originally was charged with attempted second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to aggravated battery.

Earlier Above the Law, Business Insider, FSU News and WCTV stories provide additional details.

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