Ex-Officer Gets 4-Year Term

SEATTLE - Michael Coston, a former Kirkland police officer who was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife, was sentenced yesterday to nearly four years in prison.

Coston, 37, was found not guilty of a more serious charge of second-degree murder by a King County Superior Court jury last month.

Cindy Coston, 35, was shot in the head Feb. 20 with a bullet from her husband's .45-caliber pistol.

Prosecutors rejected the defendant's claim that it was an accident, painting a picture of a nine-year marriage fraught with abuse.

Coston worked for the Kirkland Police Department from 1982 to 1986, when he was fired for what the department called "an accumulation of violations of rules and regulations."