Florida man gets life in prison for burning father

BARTOW — A central Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for burning his father to death.

Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty for Ronald Wayne Harris Jr.

One of Harris' attorneys, Julia Williamson, tells The Ledger (http://bit.ly/zDH0H6 ) that Harris has a history of mental health issues. Williamson says Harris' 58-year-old father had come to Polk County from Maryland to help his son.

Authorities say the men were arguing on Aug. 22, 2010, when Harris splashed a mixture of bleach and gasoline on his father's chest and face and then set him on fire.

Williamson says Harris did not want to take the case to trial. Harris pleaded guilty to first-degree arson and first-degree murder. He was sentenced Monday to life imprisonment.

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