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Hudson man guilty in 2011 slaying of roommate

NEW PORT RICHEY — A jury on Friday convicted Brian Fickes of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Hudson retiree Kim Cox.

Circuit Judge William Webb sentenced Fickes, 48, to life in prison after jurors deliberated about three hours.

Cox, 69, was shot three times in back of the head and neck and once in the forehead. Fickes testified, claiming self defense.

Fickes was staying at Cox's home in Country Club Estates. In late May of 2011, several days went by that Cox's children and friends didn't hear from him.

A Pasco sheriff's deputy went to the house and smelled something foul in the garage. He discovered Cox's decomposed body underneath piles of trash. Fickes had told neighbors Cox was on a fishing trip.

Prosecutor Chris Labruzzo said Cox's son gave a speech about how his father was a generous man who will live on in memory.

"He was a kind and sharing man," Labruzzo said, "and that's what ultimately led to his demise."