Costa Concordia Captain Convicted

WSVN — The night the Costa Concordia capsized, 32 people lost their lives, and now the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, has been found guilty of manslaughter.

The trial took 19 months to reach its conclusion. Schettino was so emotional in court that he could not get through his statement before breaking down. Prosecutors charged there was a “tsunami” of evidence against him. He was accused of running the ship into a reef and leaving the ship while many passengers were still on board.

But he told 7News it was a combination of mechanical failures and crew failures.

Francesco Schettino: “And because of failures of the bridge team, we found ourselves in the position we are off course.”

In the media, Schettino became known as “Captain Coward” because he left the ship. 7News interviewed him in his hometown of Meta, Italy, where he was under a form of house arrest.

Carmel Cafiero: “I think that the perception is that you saved yourself at the expense of others.”

Francesco Schettino: “It’s completely the opposite, and I can prove it.”

But clearly he could not prove it to the Italian court. He faces 16 years in prison but could stay free during the appeals process.

Since the disaster, the 54-year-old Schettino has known that could be his fate.

Francesco Schettino: “It was an accident. I did my best. Once they decide you go to jail, finish of story. I don’t want to think too much about that.”

Now it would seem he has no choice but to think about it.

Carmel Cafiero 7News.