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Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in Fla. Officer's Slaying

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A man arrested in March for his involvement in the 1998 slaying of a Polk County, Fla. police officer will plead guilty and likely spend the rest of his life in federal prison.

Christopher B. Gamble, 27, signed a plea agreement Wednesday in which he also agreed to testify against others involved in the slaying of Haines City rookie officer Christopher Horner.

No one else has been arrested yet, but Gamble's statement implicates four unnamed accomplices.

The agreement allowed Gamble, already serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery, to escape a possible death sentence if he was convicted at trial.

Horner, a 35-year-old father of six, was found shot to death in a cemetery, about 30 minutes after he radioed a dispatcher that he was checking on a suspicious car. He was shot once in the back of the head with his own police handgun.

The gun was found underneath Horner's body.

After his death, a rift developed between investigators who believed Horner killed himself and those who thought he was slain.

Gamble's statement said one of his accomplices killed Horner after his weapon was wrested away, shortly after the rookie officer encountered the group in the cemetery. Gamble said he and four other men drove two stolen cars there early on that March morning after robbing a Holiday Inn.

Gamble said he shoved the gun under Horner's body to make it appear to be a suicide, the statement said.

He agreed to plead guilty in court next week to a total of 17 federal charges.

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