Deputy Who Killed Cyclists Demoted

No gun, no patrol car anymore

The Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy who hit and killed two cyclists after falling asleep behind the wheel of his patrol car last year is staying with the department but will be demoted, the Mercury News reports.

Sheriff's Deputy James Council drove off the road on Stevens Canyon in March 2008 and hit three cyclists, killing two of them. He plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter but now he is being punished by the department and losing his status as a law enforcement officer.

Council's new job is a civilian level sheriff's "technician" -- a position with about two-thirds of the pay he was making as a sheriff's deputy. He won't be carrying a gun or driving a patrol car anymore. Instead, he'll be serving summons, providing unarmed security and cataloguing evidence.

 The now-former deputy will be sentenced later this month for the deaths of cyclists Matt Peterson and Kristy Gough.

Sheriff Laurie Smith declined to comment on the demotion, saying it was a confidential personnel matter.

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