4 decade sentence for man who killed wife - WFLA News Channel 8

4 decade sentence for man who killed wife

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Larry Dickey in court Wednesday. Larry Dickey in court Wednesday.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Two months ago a jury found Larry Dickey guilty of murdering his wife Bea Dickey in their Plant City home in 2011.  On Thursday, the 48 year old man appeared in a Hillsborough County courtroom for sentencing.

Dickey said in court, "I am here to tell you I know it took a life, the reason I can't tell you, I honestly cannot tell you why."

Dickey beat his wife to death with a baseball bat after a night of drinking.

"I don't know what was messed up in my head and my brain that night, but something wasn't right obviously," said Dickey.

He faced anywhere from 20 years to life behind bars.  The judge handed down a 40 year sentence.

Bea Dickey's son from her first marriage said even with the sentence, this wasn't a day to celebrate.

Matthew Kirkland said, "I am pretty satisfied at the 40 year sentence I know it won't be completely 40 years but if he gets out when hies 79-80 there is not much you can live after that."

Bea Dickey served as one of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd's top administrators.  A friend who worked with at the sheriff's office called her the best person you'd want to meet, and hoped for a life sentence.

Carrie Eleazer said, "It could have been really bad, it could have been only 20 years and then could have gotten out and had some semblance of a life, but those of us who knew him and knew Bea knew that he deserved to stay in prison the rest of his life and I feel that he will."

While drinking may have played a role in Bea's Dickey death, her son had this advice for others.  "Social drinks is fine, but don't let it get too far, when it starts becoming a problem in any relationship you need to get it taken care of."

Dickey has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

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