|Updated Nov. 14, 2002, 5:39 p.m. ET Florida boys plead guilty to third-degree murder in father's slaying |
PENSACOLA, Fla. (CNN) Florida brothers will serve sentences in state prison after pleading guilty to killing their father with a baseball bat, a judge announced Thursday. Derek King, 14, will spend eight years in state prison, and his 13-year-old brother Alex will spend seven years in state prison. The sentences announced by Circuit Court Judge Frank Bell came after they agreed to plead guilty to arson and third-degree murder in the slaying of their father, Terry King. This agreement represents a reduction of the second-degree murder convictions the boys were given in September and which Bell threw out. The pleas and sentences came out of a court-ordered mediation that reached resolution Wednesday. Attorneys entered mediation after Bell tossed out a jury conviction just before a sentencing last month that could have put the boys in jail for life. Prosecutor David Rimmer explained that third-degree murder is as a killing that occurs unintentionally while a defendant is committing another felony. "Certain felonies, like robbery, constitute first-degree murder," Rimmer said. "But in this case the third-degree felony is battery which is not in the listing of charges the beating of Terry King with the bat. For third-degree murder, you only have to show that the defendant intended to commit the battery."