Soldier guilty in family deaths gets 80 years in prison

ANCHORAGE — A former soldier who was convicted of shooting and killing his wife and infant daughter was sentenced Friday to serve 80 years in prison.

Kip Lynch, 22, will be eligible for parole when he is in his mid-70s, according to prosectuors. Lynch had faced a prison term between 40 and 198 years for the deaths of his 19-year-old wife, Racquelle, and daughter, 8-month-old Kyirsta, in April 2010.

Lynch was convicted in June 2011.

“I believe that Mr. Lynch’s service in Afghanistan was a factor,” Judge Michael Spaan said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

“I further believe that the Army could’ve done more for Mr. Lynch,” Spaan said.

Prosecutors contend that the murders were pre-meditated, citing evidence that “shows signs of preparation, plan and intent.” Prosecutors say he fired his weapon numerous times.

Lynch told detectives that he does not remember shooting his wife and child.

The defense has argued that Lynch was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time.

The killings took place about two months after Lynch had returned from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. The Army said he received an “other-than-honorable” discharge in December.

Seattle psychologist Fred Wise testified Thursday that just after Lynch’s deployment ended, a brief Army evaluation indicated Lynch may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Lynch was referred to counseling but neither he nor the Army followed up on it, Wise said.

The psychologist said a quarter of all servicemen and women sent to fight overseas come home with the disorder. But, he said, the disorder can be difficult to treat.

After killing his wife and child, Lynch shot himself in the head, authorities said. He survived the suicide attempt but is blind in one eye now.

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