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Plant City Man Charged with First-Degree Murder

According to police, Lawrence Douglas Dickey confessed to killing his wife Beatrice Ann Dickey in their Plant City home this weekend. A Plant City police officer reports that Lawrence Dickey said, “Lock me up. I just beat my wife with a bat. She is hurt real bad.” He has been charged with first-degree murder in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Beatrice Dickey was found in the couple’s bedroom with a traumatic injury to her head and upper body. A bloody aluminum baseball bat reportedly lay beside her. She was flown to Tampa General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Beatrice Dickey was the highest-ranking civilian employee of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, where her title was executive director of business affairs. She ranked third behind the sheriff and his chief of staff in the department organizational chart.

According to the police report, Lawrence and Beatrice Dickey returned home from a Saturday night concert. Lawrence Dickey allegedly woke his son and said, “I love you, your mother is an angel and will get you through this.” The son then heard his father go into the garage and heard an aluminum bat hit the floor. Lawrence Dickey then walked into his bedroom.

The son reportedly then heard three thumps.

Then Lawrence Dickey went to the police and turned himself in. He has been charged with first-degree murder and was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail without bail as of Sunday.

There was no prior domestic violence history between the Dickeys, as far as law enforcement or the courts were aware.

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