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Mechanic convicted in slaying of tourist

A man charged with killing a 22-year-old tourist from Chicago in an unprovoked shooting outside a West Palm Beach Burger King in 1991 has been convicted of manslaughter.

Peter David, 27, of West Palm Beach was on trial for second-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Throughout the seven-day trial, the defense maintained that David suffered from a mental disorder brought on by depression over his breakup with his wife a month earlier. The disorder prevented him from knowing right from wrong when he shot and killed Gus Arkoulis of Chicago on Feb. 10, 1991.

But a Palm Beach County Circuit Court jury, which deliberated for nearly five hours Friday, convicted David of lesser charges of manslaughter with a firearm, two counts of attempted manslaughter with a firearm and discharging a firearm in public.

David, a Mercedes-Benz mechanic, faces a 12- to 15-year prison term when he is sentenced on Nov. 17.

A defense psychologist had testified that David had a "brief reactive psychosis," which clouded his judgment and caused him to become delusional.

The condition also was spawned by David's heavy drinking the night of the killing, and his distress over running into his wife's boyfriend before encountering Arkoulis.

The prosecution maintained that David was sane when he shot Arkoulis in a rage because he thought Arkoulis, or two friends with him, had flattened a tire on his pickup truck as they sat behind him at the drive-through window.

Defense attorney Richard Lubin said he will argue during an Oct. 26 hearing that the firearm enhancement should not apply because the murder weapon was an antique.

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