Photo/Story Gallery 2009

Judge Hands Down Sentence

photo of Sergeant Nicholas SottileFlorida Highway Patrol Sergeant Nicholas G. Sottile was killed in the line of duty on Friday, January 12, 2007, while conducting a traffic stop on US-27 in Highlands County. He was fired upon by Joshua Lee Altersberger, who remained at large throughout the night. After a massive search by law enforcement officers representing 25 state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies, Altersberger and a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the stop were apprehended early Saturday morning , January 13, 2007, in Highlands County.

Sergeant Sottile, a 24-year veteran of the FHP, was assigned to Troop F – Arcadia. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two children, Nicholas and Heather. Sergeant Sottile’s son, Nicholas, was also a member of the Patrol. Trooper Sottile was assigned to Troop C – Tampa and is now a deputy sheriff. Sergeant Sottile is the 41st trooper who has been killed in the line of duty since 1939.

The 21-year-old convicted in the killing of Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas Sottile has been sentenced to die.

Judge J. Michael Hunter issued the death penalty for Joshua Lee Altersberger Monday, June 15, 2009, in keeping with a recommendation of a Polk County jury. Altersberger had plead guilty in March to killing Sottile during the traffic stop.

On April 2, a Polk County jury made a 9-3 recommendation of death for the defendant.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sottile family throughout this difficult time.

End of Watch:   Friday, January 12, 2007

News articles regarding trial and sentencing