Albert Jeffcoat was in court again on Wednesday where he learned that his sentence would be reduced and his charge changed.
Effingham County Superior Court Chief Judge William Woodrum lowered Jeffcoat’s sentence to 20 years from the original sentence of life in prison.
Jeffcoat, a former Savannah Police Department officer, was originally convicted last year of kidnapping with the intent to do bodily harm for a Nov. 22, 2004, assault of his estranged and now ex-wife.
In addition, Woodrum reduced the charge to kidnapping because of an error he made in his instructions to the jury in the first trial.
“He gave the wrong instruction,” said Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Richard Mallard.
However, he could not say what that instruction was.
The new charge carries a sentence of 10-20 years.
Mallard explained that a motion had been filed for a new trial with the error cited as one of the reasons. Case law dictates that in the event of such an error, a new trial is not required, however.
Jeffcoat is expected to file an appeal to his verdict.