State wants death for accused killer of firefighter's wife

Lance Kirkpatrick back in court Fri. morning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man facing charges for killing the wife of a firefighter will be in court Friday at 10 a.m., fighting to stay off death row. 

Kim Dorsey, 38, was killed in 2012. Lance Kirkpatrick knew her and her husband, and prosecutors said he broke into the couples' home and raped and murdered Dorsey when her husband was away.

Prosecutors said Kirkpatrick used a pool cue and a knife to kill her. 

But defense lawyers argued the two had a sexual relationship and a fight led to her death. They said it was not premeditated murder.

That difference could affect whether Kirkpatrick gets the death penalty.

Kirkpatrick sat through hours of testimony Thursday. One witness showed horrific images of the woman who the state said he murdered.

The city's chief medical examiner testified about how she thinks Dorsey was killed in November of 2012.

"Blunt head trauma and stab wound to neck," Dr. Valerie Rao testified about Dorsey's cause of death. "Homicide."

The defense is arguing for a potential manslaughter charge, because they say Kirkpatrick and Dorsey were having an affair and the sex between the two was consensual. They claim an argument eventually led to Dorsey's death.

The defense wants the jury to believe this was not premeditated murder, which would carry the death penalty.

One issue the prosecution brought up to the medical examiner was the fact that Dorsey's wrists and ankles were bound with zip ties when her body was found. The M.E. told the jury in her expert opinion, Dorsey was still alive when she was bound and was on her back when she was beaten and stabbed.

"You can see the pink response along the groove area of the zip tie," Rao said. "If she was dead, you wouldn't get any of these features at all." 

The prosecution also showed a blood-stained shirt Dorsey was wearing the night of her death, which is preserved now years later as a piece of evidence.

As of the close of court Thursday night Kirkpatrick had yet to testify but is expected to when court resumes Friday at 10 a.m.

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