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A man who said he put his wife in...

DULUTH, Minn. -- A man who said he put his wife in a lifeboat when she panicked because of engine trouble during a 14th wedding anniversary cruise on frigid Lake Superior was convicted of first degree murder.

A St. Louis County jury deliberated 12 hours Thursday before finding Larry Race guilty of murdering his wife, the mother of three children.

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St. Louis County District Court Judge Jack Litman revoked bond for Race and said he would sentence him today. First-degree murder in Minnesota carries a mandatory life sentence. The earliest Race would be eligible for parole is in 17 years.

Race showed no emotion at 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.'

'I feel very sorry for the Race family, for the children, all the inlaws and the brothers and sisters of Larry Race. I truly do,' St. Louis County Prosecutor John DeSanto said.

DeSanto argued Race, 34, set his wife, Debbie, 33, adrift in a life raft on Lake Superior's frigid 37-degree waters on the night of May 11, 1982. Her body washed ashore the following day. Authorities said she died of hypothermia, a lowering of the body's temperature.

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Race claimed his wife panicked after the boat developed engine trouble and said he put her on one of two life rafts aboard. Authorities searched for the yellow and blue raft but never found it.

Throughout the trial, DeSanto portrayed Race as a womanizer and used testimony to show he had at least four extramarital affairs and was deeply in debt from a diving hobby.

DeSanto said it was significant Race took out $108,000 in life insurance policies on his wife within seven months of her death.

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