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Lance Kirkpatrick guilty of first-degree murder

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lance Kirkpatrick's fate was sealed Wednesday night as jurors handed down a guilty of first-degree murder verdict in the slaying of a firefighter's wife in 2012.  He was also found guilty of rape and burglary.

The jury deliberated for 90 minutes after closing arguments from the prosecution and defense and receiving instructions from the judge.  

Jurors came to the verdict shortly after 7 p.m.

Kirkpatrick's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday at 9:30 a.m. 

Families on both sides of the case broke down crying after the jury decided that Kirkpatrick brutally murdered Kim Dorsey.

As the verdict was read, Kirkpatrick just stood there with no visible emotion while his family members broke down and cried.

Just outside the courtroom the Dorsey's family also cried, but their tears were ones of relief, knowing that the man convicted of killing their loved one would soon be sentenced.

Kirkpatrick admitted to killing 38-year-old Dorsey with a pool stick and a knife but said it happened after they got into a heated argument and struggle in which she fired a gun at him.

Kirkpatrick said he was fighting for his own life and was scared.

Prosecutors had rested their case Tuesday against Kirkpatrick, claiming he knew Dorsey and her husband and broke into the couples' home and raped and murdered Dorsey in October 2012 while her husband was away.

Prosecutors said Kirkpatrick used a pool cue and a knife to kill Dorsey while she was tied up. Kirkpatrick did not deny causing Dorsey's death, but testified that he never meant to kill her.

He said he was good friends with the Dorseys and that Kim Dorsey was training him. He said he and Kim Dorsey went to the gym three to four times a week and would sometimes drink and flirt afterward, which led to sex a few times.

"It wasn't anything constant. It was random. It wasn't planned," Kirkpatrick said of his sexual encounters with Dorsey.

He testified that on the night Dorsey was killed, he went to the Dorseys' home to hang out, but Derek Dorsey was not home. He said he sweet talked Kim Dorsey, and she had sex with him.

But he said shortly after they got into an argument about her husband's supposed infidelity. Kirkpatrick said at one point Dorsey grabbed a gun and started shooting.
He said he ran and hid in the kitchen, where he had left a pool stick earlier. He said he ran at Dorsey and swung the pool stick wildly as he tried to get the gun away from her.

He said he knocked her out and then put the gun in his back pocket and tied her up with zip ties.

He later changed his mind about tying her up, he said, because he thought it would look bad when the cops showed up because of the gunfire. He said he found a knife to cut the zip ties loose and, at some point, Dorsey got the knife and they began struggling over the knife. He said then he must have stabbed her but didn't realize it.

"I was frantic. I didn't know what to do. I was scared. I just sat and was waiting for the police," Kirkpatrick said. "They never came."

He admitted that he lied to police and his family about killing Dorsey.

"There's really no way to describe the feeling," he said. "I don't think I said it out loud for at least six months."

During cross-examination, the prosecutor attempted to catch Kirkpatrick in lies and paint inconsistencies in his testimony for the jury. But lastly, the state wanted to hear Kirkpatrick tell the jury what punishment he thinks he deserves.

"I'm guilty," Kirkpatrick said. "I don't know what I want right now."