UPDATE: Spencer murder suspect pleads guilty to lesser charges - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Spencer murder suspect pleads guilty to lesser charges

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Christopher Fitzpatrick inside the courtroom in Spencer where he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Christopher Fitzpatrick inside the courtroom in Spencer where he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
SPENCER, Iowa (KTIV) -

A Spencer, Iowa murder suspect won't get life in prison. Instead he agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.

As part of a plea bargain, 21-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick will be sentenced to a total of 45 years behind bars. Defense attorneys say he'll be eligible for parole after at least 17 and a half years.

Fitzpatrick originally faced life for 1st-degree murder, and 25-years for 1st-degree robbery. But, his agreement with prosecutors reduces his murder charge to voluntary manslaughter, and adds a charge of conspiracy to deliver meth.

In his hearing, Monday afternoon, Fitzpatrick admitted, in August, he severely beat 59-year-old Edward Kitto, then stole money from his wallet. Kitto was air-lifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where he died, days later. Fitzpatrick says it all started with name calling.

"He called me some names and then he came at me with his fists. That's how it happened," said Fitzpatrick.

"And as he approached you, that's when you then struck him?" asked District Court Judge Carl Petersen.

"Yeah," said Fitzpatrick.

Along with the prison time, Fitzpatrick will be ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Kitto's family.

The next step is sentencing. District court officials say it will be May 10th, around two in the afternoon.

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