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Former Florida sergeant convicted of manslaughter

The Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- A jury has convicted a former police sergeant of manslaughter in the 2002 shooting death of an unarmed man.

Ronald Robbins was convicted in 2003 of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of 22-year-old Jason Starkey. But a year later, an appeals court overturned the conviction, ruling that Robbins did not get a fair trial.

After three hours of deliberations, a jury on Tuesday found Robbins, 46, of Edgewater, guilty of the lesser charge.

During the second trial, the defense was allowed to include a toxicology report that showed Starkey had a combination of alcohol and the painkiller hydrocodone in his system.

Robbins testified that he was hit in the head during a fight with Starkey and another man. Robbins said he fired his .22-caliber handgun because he thought he saw Starkey holding a knife.

Sentencing was scheduled for May 18. Prosecutors said they would seek the maximum of 30 years in prison.

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