TAMPA - A man accused of beating his wife to death with a baseball bat was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday.
Before the judge announced his decision, Lawrence Dickey addressed the court and broke down in tears.
He said he was sorry and that he's already apologized to God. He went on to say he has a picture of his murdered wife Beatrice in his jail cell and looks at it everyday.
Dickey and his wife attended a Journey concert last year. Investigators said he attacked Beatrice in their Plant City home while she slept. Her body was found by their children.
After the murder, Dickey drove to the Plant City Police Department and turned himself in.
"I just beat my wife with a bat and she's hurt really bad," he told Officer Dennis Pawlowski.
Beatrice Dickey was a high-ranking employee with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the agency's highest paid civilian staff member.
In December, jurors found Lawrence Dickey guilty of second degree murder.
He has maintained he doesn't know why he killed his wife and there were times when he tried to take his own life. He said his wife is constantly in his thoughts.
"There's not a day that goes by that i don't think of her. I don't think of family members, friends, my children, co-workers. It's continuously on my mind," Dickey told the court.
Dickey also said he had a drinking problem and told the court the judge's decision will not discourage him from talking to others about the dangers of alcoholism and getting treatment.
The victim's family members said they were not pleased with the judge's decision.
They wanted Lawrence Dickey to spend the rest of his life in prison
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