Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City children recount their mom's brutal death by baseball bat

TAMPA — A houseful of children will be the star witnesses when Lawrence Dickey, 45, stands trial on charges he fatally clubbed his wife, Beatrice, with a baseball bat last year after the couple returned home from a Journey concert.

Three of the couple's children and a young family friend were in the Plant City home on Sept. 18 when Beatrice Dickey, 44, was attacked.

One of them, the couple's 12-year-old son, provided a nightmare narrative to investigators. The boy said he was sleeping on the couch in the living room after midnight when Lawrence Dickey woke him. The boy's statement was released Tuesday by the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

"Dad came over to me and started rubbing my head. He was telling me over and over that he will always love me and my mom will always be my angel. It was kind of weird because he never does that.

"I heard him go into the garage.

"I heard him get the bat. I knew it was a bat because he dropped it on the floor and I heard it.

"I heard three loud thumps coming from my dad's room.

"I heard my dad come out and get his keys, then leave. … I heard tires screeching, then nothing.

"I called out to (mom), but she didn't answer. I heard (my sister) screaming and saying someone hit (mom) in the head with a bat.

"I know my dad did it."

Plant City police answered a 911 call from another son, age 17. They found the couple's 16-year-old daughter in the bedroom with her mother, sobbing and trying to wipe blood away.

On the bed lay an aluminum Louisville Slugger.

None of the children said they actually saw the attack. They said their parents weren't arguing when they got home. Prosecutors haven't publicly offered a motive.

Beatrice Dickey was an executive assistant to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. She was a breast cancer survivor. Their father was a loss prevention officer for Walmart. They were a blended family. Each parent brought two children to the marriage.

A Plant City police officer recognized Lawrence Dickey when the father skidded his SUV to a stop at the police station just minutes after the attack.

Dickey was shirtless, wearing only gym shorts.

He simply turned and put his hands behind his back.

According to Plant City police, he said, "Lock me up, I just beat my wife with a bat. She is hurt real bad."

Dickey is charged with first-degree murder. No trial date has been set.

John Barry can be reached at [email protected].

Plant City children recount their mom's brutal death by baseball bat 01/10/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Bruno Mars' charisma glitters like gold at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Nothing in this world should be as easy as Bruno Mars makes it look. Not singing, not dancing, and certainly not playfully seducing more than 17,500 starry-eyed Tampa fans with one of pop music’s best bands at your back.

    Bruno Mars performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 19, 2017.
  2. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  3. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  4. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police were investigating what they were calling a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night, near the location of two fatal shootings last week.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.