- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) - A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for killing his father and setting his house on fire.

As part of a deal with Pasco County prosecutors, 25-year-old Baron Vercruysse pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and arson. He previously faced a first-degree murder charge and possible death sentence.

Firefighters responded to the burning Holiday home on New Year’s Eve 2012. Inside, they found the body of 52-year-old Rene Dominique Vercruysse.

During an interview last year with the Tampa Bay Times (https://goo.gl/jjFOQr), Baron Vercruysse said he killed his father in self-defense. After years of abuse, Vercruysse said he wanted the beatings to stop. Vercruysse said he stabbed his father during a fight. He then took the body to the bedroom, where he doused it in gasoline and set it on fire.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), https://www.tampabay.com.


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