The man convicted of killing his wife, a high-ranking civilian at the Polk County Sheriff's Office, will spend 40 years behind bars. Today, Judge William Fuente sentenced Lawrence Dickey after a jury found him guilty of second degree murder.
Dickey and his wife, Beatrice, attended a Journey concert last September. Investigators say Lawrence attacked Beatrice in their Plant City home while she was sleeping, and her children found her body.
Prosecutors argued he knew what he was doing, while the defense claimed the act was not premeditated.
Before the judge gave his decision, several friends and family members of Lawrence and Beatrice Dickey spoke to the court.
Then Lawrence Dickey addressed the court for about 20 minutes, breaking down in tears and focusing many of his comments towards Beatrice's family. Dickey said, "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, coworkers. It's continuously on my mind."
Then, after a half-hour recess, the judge returned with his decision. Fuente said "I have sentenced you as follows: Forty years Florida State Prison, followed by five years of drug probation."
Dickey sat still as the judge read the sentence.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says while the judge's sentence is substantial, it's still not enough. Judd said, "He gave a death sentence to Beatrice, while she laid at home asleep. In her bed at home, where you should be safe. He beat her to death with a baseball bat."
Of Lawrence Dickey, Sheriff Judd said, "He is a worthless excuse for a human being."
Beatrice's son, Matthew, says the trial was long and drawn-out, but well worth the wait.