JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There were tears on both sides of a the courtroom Tuesday as a judge sentenced Karla Davis to life in prison for killing Ian Klinedinst two years ago, believing she was firing at someone who had just burglarized her home.
Davis, 38, was convicted of second-degree murder for firing into a vehicle parked on her street on Feb. 16, 2014. The shot hit 22-year-old Ian Klinedinst in the head. His infant son and 2-year-old daughter were in the car when he was shot to death.
Davis left the scene and was arrested four days later at a Northside hotel and charged with murder.
Last month, a jury convicted Davis. Her life sentence carries a 25-year minimum mandatory.
The night Klinedinst was killed, his daughter crawled out of her car seat and tried to wake up her dad.
In court Friday, the victim's father could not hold back tears as he talked about his son.
"After two years, I am just feeling tons of relief at this time," Keith Klinedinst said. "It's as if the biggest weight has been lifted off my shoulders."
Nancy Davis told the court that abuse her daughter suffered may have been the cause of her behavior that night.
"(The man) abused her sexually and mentally. He told her if she ever told on him, that he would kill her and kill me," Nancy Davis testified. "We put him in jail, but he had already done the damage with her. He gave her disease. I can't describe all he did to her."
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said that should have no factor in her sentence for killing an innocent man.
"That does not give people a right to go out and kill innocent people," de la Rionda said. "As a society, when you have innocent people doing nothing and just getting shot, we can't allow that, and I think this sentence today sends that person Karla Davis accountable and, hopefully, sends the message to others out there that if you come and kill someone in Jacksonville Florida, you will be held accountable."
This was not the first tragic loss for the Klinedinsts. The victim's grandfather, William Klinedinst, was killed July 4, 1992, when an unknown person dropped a concrete block from the Collins Road overpass of Interstate 295 onto his car, forcing him off the highway and into the woods. His body was not found until several months later.