- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison strangling his ex-girlfriend during an argument.

As part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors, 23-year-old Patrick Eugene Wilkey pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder. He was scheduled to go on trial this month for first-degree murder, which comes with a minimum life sentence.

Wilkey told investigators that he and Laura Michelle Hunt went to a Lakeland park in July 2012 to watch the sunrise and began having sex. He told investigators he got angry when she mentioned that she wanted to have sex with his friend. Wilkey then choked Hunt for eight minutes until she was dead.

The Lakeland Ledger (https://goo.gl/4zkL74 ) reports that Wilkey then loaded Hunt’s body into the trunk of her own car. He drove the vehicle around for two days before dumping the body and abandoning the car.

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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), https://www.theledger.com

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