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Soldier convicted of killing wife, baby daughter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A U.S. Army soldier was convicted on Wednesday of murdering his wife and infant daughter a year ago, shortly after he returned from Afghanistan.

Army Spc. Kip Lynch, 22, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Racquell Lynch, 19, and second-degree murder in the death of their 8-month-old daughter, Kyirsta.

Prosecutors said Lynch, a Florida native who had returned to Anchorage about a year ago after serving for a year in Afghanistan, shot his wife in the back, head and neck while she was holding their daughter.

The bullet killed both, prosecutors said. Kip Lynch then turned the gun on himself, but survived the wound.

Lynch, who was critically injured in the apparent suicide attempt, and the bodies of his wife and baby remained in the family's Anchorage apartment for a weekend before they were discovered.

Colleagues had become worried when Kip Lynch did not show up for work on a Monday morning, according to police reports.

At his three-week trial, Lynch denied that he was the shooter. He argued that another person had committed the crime.

Prosecution witnesses indicated that Kip and Racquell Lynch had an unhappy marriage.

He is scheduled for sentencing on September 23.

(Reporting by Yereth Rosen; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)

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