News, Police Blotter

Spencer Man Avoids Life In Prison With Plea Bargain In Beating Death Case

gavel_sxcSpencer, Iowa — A Spencer man has avoided life in prison.

At a hearing Monday presided by Judge Carl Petersen, 21-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick agreed to a plea bargain. He admitted at his hearing on Monday that he severely beat 59-year-old Edward Kitto, then stole money from his wallet. Kitto received major injuries and was flown by helicopter to a Sioux Falls hospital. A few days later, he died from the injuries Fitzpatrick admits he inflicted.

However, Fitzpatrick says it wasn’t a case of killing for money. He says it started when Kitto called him some names and came at Fitzpatrick with his fists.

Fitzpatrick was originally charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Robbery and faced life, plus 25 years in prison. The plea bargin changed the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter, added a charge of Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine, and brought the total to 45 years in prison. According to defense attorneys, Fitzpatrick will be eligible for parole after at least 17 and a half years. He also has to pay $150,000 in restitution to Kitto’s family.

The actual sentencing will take place on May 10th.

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