Lewis Bennett will admit to killing Isabella Hellmann on their Caribbean honeymoon

An Australian sailor accused of killing his wife on their honeymoon to the Caribbean will admit to her manslaughter.

Lewis Bennett has reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for murder charges being dropped.

His new wife Isabella Hellmann, 41, vanished as the couple sailed off the Bahamas in May 2017 and Bennett has always insisted he didn’t know what happened to her. 

Lewis Bennett, 41, has reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors to plead guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Isabella Hellmann, 41, in exchange for murder charges being dropped

Lewis Bennett, 41, has reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors to plead guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Isabella Hellmann, 41, in exchange for murder charges being dropped

Lewis Bennett, 41, has reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors to plead guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Isabella Hellmann, 41, in exchange for murder charges being dropped

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday filed a new affidavit charging Bennett with involuntary manslaughter, saying he killed Hellmann ‘without malice,’ and dropped second-degree murder charges.

In turn, Bennett is now scheduled to change his not-guilty plea at a Monday hearing. Such activity typically occurs when a plea deal has been reached.

Prosecutors declined to comment on Friday and Bennett’s public defender Vanessa Chen did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment. Hellmann’s sister also declined to comment.

Bennett faces up to eight years jail on the involuntary manslaughter charge and deportation from the U.S.

Bennett faces up to eight years jail on the involuntary manslaughter charge and deportation from the U.S. 

Bennett faces up to eight years jail on the involuntary manslaughter charge and deportation from the U.S. 

Bennett faces up to eight years jail on the involuntary manslaughter charge and deportation from the U.S. 

Bennett said the couple took their 11-metre catamaran Surf Into Summer for a belated honeymoon Caribbean cruise after they had been married three months

Bennett said the couple took their 11-metre catamaran Surf Into Summer for a belated honeymoon Caribbean cruise after they had been married three months

Bennett said the couple took their 11-metre catamaran Surf Into Summer for a belated honeymoon Caribbean cruise after they had been married three months

Bennett, a mining engineer with dual British and Australian citizenship, previously told the FBI and journalists his version of events on the trip.

He said the couple took their 11-metre catamaran Surf Into Summer for a belated honeymoon Caribbean cruise after they had been married three months. They left their infant daughter, Emelia, with her family.

As the catamaran passed the Bahamas on the return to Florida, Bennett sent out an emergency radio signal.

When the U.S. Coast Guard found him on a life raft three hours later, he told rescuers he left Hellmann on deck as he retired for the night to their cabin, and was jolted awake when their craft hit something.

The couple left their infant daughter, Emelia, (pictured with them) with her family when they went on the honeymoon

The couple left their infant daughter, Emelia, (pictured with them) with her family when they went on the honeymoon

The couple left their infant daughter, Emelia, (pictured with them) with her family when they went on the honeymoon

When the U.S. Coast Guard found him on a life raft three hours later, he told rescuers he left Hellmann on deck as he retired for the night to their cabin, and was jolted awake when their craft hit something 

When the U.S. Coast Guard found him on a life raft three hours later, he told rescuers he left Hellmann on deck as he retired for the night to their cabin, and was jolted awake when their craft hit something 

When the U.S. Coast Guard found him on a life raft three hours later, he told rescuers he left Hellmann on deck as he retired for the night to their cabin, and was jolted awake when their craft hit something 

He said Hellmann was gone when he went outside and his attempts to find her failed. He said the catamaran was sinking, so he abandoned it.

‘I have got nothing to hide,’ he later told the Daily Mail, adding Hellmann was ‘my soulmate’.

The Coast Guard spent seven days searching and found the catamaran, though it sank before it could be recovered. They did not find Hellmann.

Sixteen days after her disappearance, Bennett went to the home of Hellmann’s parents to get his daughter, a heated meeting that ended with her sister accusing him of killing Hellmann, according to a police report.

He took Emelia to Britain, where she was last reported living with his relatives. Bennett visited Cuba, saying he hoped Hellmann had been rescued and taken there.

He soon filed a motion with the Florida courts asking that his wife be declared dead. That would have given him possession of the apartment and other items that belonged solely to her, but a judge rejected it.

Ms Hellmann vanished as the couple sailed off the Bahamas in May 2017 and Bennett has always insisted he didn't know what happened to her

Ms Hellmann vanished as the couple sailed off the Bahamas in May 2017 and Bennett has always insisted he didn't know what happened to her

Ms Hellmann vanished as the couple sailed off the Bahamas in May 2017 and Bennett has always insisted he didn’t know what happened to her

The Coast Guard spent seven days searching and found the catamaran (pictured), though it sank before it could be recovered. They did not find Hellmann

The Coast Guard spent seven days searching and found the catamaran (pictured), though it sank before it could be recovered. They did not find Hellmann

The Coast Guard spent seven days searching and found the catamaran (pictured), though it sank before it could be recovered. They did not find Hellmann

Investigators long doubted Bennett’s story. The FBI says an inspection of the catamaran before it sank showed portholes below the waterline had been opened and damage to the twin hulls appeared to have been caused from the inside. 

Investigators also found Bennett on the life raft with US$100,000 worth of coins stolen from a yacht he worked aboard in 2016.

Bennett was arrested last year on that charge and pleaded guilty, getting a seven-month sentence. 

While serving that sentence, he was charged in February with Hellmann’s death and has remained jailed.

Link hienalouca.com

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