A Gainesville man was sentenced Monday morning to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting and killing a Jacksonville man in a road rage incident last year.
Brad Lippincott, 31, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of Kahron Warnke. Lippincott shot Warnke, 33, seven times during an argument over a traffic incident on March 16, 2012 on the Westside.
Defense attornies argued Lippincott fired in self-defense because he feared for his safety. Prosecutors pointed out Warnke was driving away when Lippincott fired.
Last Thursday, the judge in the case heard testimony from the victim's family and Lippincott.
Lippincott expressed his remorse about what happened and asked Warnke's family to forgive him.
"When I found out Mr. Warnke died a big part of my inner being was lost and it breaks my heart even further knowing his daughter witnessed his death," said Lippincott.
Warnke's 8-year-old daughter was inside the car at the time. He left the scene after the shooting and crashed into a home. Doctors say the crash was caused by his gunshot wound to the chest.
Warnke's sister said their family's life has changed forever.
"It's very hard to know his kids will have to grow up without him. He didn't deserve this and I want the person who did this to know that he has changed my life the worst," said Warnke's sister.
Warnke's fiancee and mother of his child, Shaniqua Brown, said her daughter's innocence and sense of security were taken away.
"Both men put our daughter in harm's way and I had to find it in my heart to forgive both of them. I have forgiven Brad and it has not been easy. It has taken a lot of soul searching, but forgiving Brad is easier than holding on to my anger," said Brown.
At Monday's sentencing, Judge Virginia Norton said she believed Lippincott, who had no prior criminal record, is truly remorseful. However, that didn't change the fact he shot and killed someone.
"It cannot take away from the horrible, horrible, horrible tragedy that has occurred, and the fact that a person is dead," said Norton. "Someone's father is dead, someone's significant other is dead and a citizen of our community is dead as a result of your usage of a firearm."