DULUTH, Minn. -- A man was convicted or murder Thursday for setting his wife adrift in a life raft on Lake Superior's frigid waters during a cruise to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary.
Larry Race, 34, of Hoyt Lakes, was found guilty of first degree murder by a St. Louis County jury that deliberated 12 hours before returning the verdict.
He will be sentenced Friday.
'I feel very sorry for the Race family, for the children, all the inlaws and the brothers and sisters of Larry Race,' St. Louis County Prosecutor John DeSanto told a news conference following the verdict. 'I truly do.'
DeSanto said Race set his 33-year-old wife Debbie adrift in a life raft on Lake Superior's frigid 37-degree waters on the night of May 11, 1982.
The body of Mrs. Race, a mother of three children, washed ashore the following day. Authorities said she died of hypothermia, a lowering of the body's temperature.
Throughout the trial DeSanto portrayed Race as a womanizer and used testimony to show he had at least four extramarital affairs. DeSanto said Race took out $108,000 in life insurance policies on his wife within seven months of her death.
Race claimed his wife panicked after the boat developed engine trouble and said he put her on one of two life rafts aboard. Authorities searching for the yellow and blue raft never found it.
Race did not show any emotion when he heard the verdict. But he broke down, cried and lurched forward when his sister ran into the courtroom, screaming, 'Oh Lord, no, they can't do this to you.'
St. Louis County District Judge Jack Litman revoked bond for Race. First degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence. The earliest Race would be eligible for parole is in 17 years.