JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Gainesville man who's facing up to 13 years in prison for the road rage shooting death of a Jacksonville man last year apologized to the victim's family during a sentencing hearing Thursday.
Brad Lippincott pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter in the March 16, 2012, killing of Kahron Warnke.
Shaniqua Brown, Warnke's fiance, took the stand during Thursday's sentencing hearing for victim impact statements. She said she and Warnke had been together for 15 years, and Warnke and their daughter, Aliana, were like two peas in a pod. Brown said their favorite things to do together we're watch ESPN and go to Krispy Kreme.
Brown said Warnke rushed to the hospital the day Aliana was born.
"Ten minutes after he arrived, Aliana came into the world," Brown said. "She waited for her daddy and they were inseparable since she was born."
Lippincott admitted to firing seven shots at Warnke during an argument over a traffic incident near the intersection of 103rd Street and Jammes Road on the Westside.
During the road rage incident, both men pulled into a Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q parking lot, where the shots were fired, police said.
It didn't end there. Both men left the scene, and Lippincott called 911.
Warnke drove one block after being shot in the chest before crashing into a vacant rental house on Jammes Road. He died at the scene.
Warnke's 8-year-old daughter, Aliana, was sitting in the back seat while everything unfolded. She was not hurt, but was screaming when help arrived.
Brown said Warnke was there for Aliana's first breath, and she was there for his last.
Lippincott's attorney argued Thursday he fired those deadly shots out of fear for his safety, but prosecutors pointed out Warnke was driving away when he was shot.
"When I found out Mr. Warnke died, a big part of my inner being was lost," Lippincott said. "And it breaks my heart even further knowing his daughter witnessed his death."
Lippincott went on to ask for the forgiveness of Warnke's family, specifically his fiance. She said it took some soul searching, but Brown looked Lippincott in the eyes and told him she forgave him.
"We've all done things and will do things in the future that will require forgiveness of us, and I pray for Brad and his family can heal from his actions, too."
Warnke's siblings were also in the courtroom and talked about how inspirational their big brother was, always the one they went to for advice.
"I gave my son my brother's middle name, Ali, because in my eyes he was the greatest," Warnke's brother said.
After hearing the emotional statements from him and Warnke's family, the judge took everything under advisement and said she would need more time to make a decision. Lippincott's sentencing is now scheduled for Monday.