Former Conch Key resident Carolyn Dukeshire has the next 30 years to think about the can of Busch Light beer she never got from neighbor Martin Mazur.
That's the reason Dukeshire, 62, shot and killed Mazur, 64, last July 29 — she asked Mazur for a beer and he said no. That's when she shot him five times outside his Conch Key home.
Dukeshire — known by her friends and co-workers as the Seahag — pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday, accepting an agreement with the Monroe state attorney's office for a maximum 30 years in prison. Assistant Public Defender Patrick Stevens represented her.
A grand jury handed down a first-degree murder charge against Dukeshire in August.
Assistant State Attorney Tanner Demmery said Mazur's brother was at Thursday's hearing before acting Circuit Court Judge Ruth Becker.
"The brother of the victim, he elected to have the victim advocate read his prepared statement to the court. Ms. Dukeshire had no comment," he said.
Demmery said Dukeshire submitted a statement to Becker indicating her remorse and that she'd pay the rest of her life for losing composure in that moment.
A 17-year Keys resident, Dukeshire had no previous arrest history in Monroe County.
According to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report, just before the shooting, Dukeshire reportedly asked Mazur, for whom she had previously done some lobster-trap work: "Do you have a cold beer for me?" He reportedly replied, "I have absolutely nothing for you."
That's when Dukeshire shot Mazur twice in the lower right abdomen, twice in the back and once in the right wrist.
Deputy Michael Claudy's report says "it seems apparent" Mazur was attempting to flee from the gunfire but collapsed near a tiki bar in his backyard.
Mazur's reported business partner, Casey Whippo, 30, witnessed the shooting and told police he struggled with Dukeshire for the gun. Sheriff's office divers recovered the small-caliber weapon the next day in a canal behind the house.