Florida millionaire Bob Ward, who lived in the same tony neighborhood as Olympic level philanderer Tiger Woods, has been found guilty of murdering his wife in 2009. Ward's attorney immediately announced that he planned to appeal the jury's verdict, which he blamed on another Florida woman- Casey Anthony.
Ward, who had been a successful real estate developer, filed for bankruptcy in 2008, almost a year before his wife's death. His insurance company threatened to sue him for $20 million, accusing Ward of using money made on the sale of real estate bonds to pay off personal debts and buy fancy, expensive things (among them several houses and a $140,000 car). His wife, Diane, was days away from giving a deposition in the insurance company's case. The deposition was to confirm that Bob had, indeed, gone on a lottery winner-caliber spending spree.
The night of her death, Diane and Bob had fought, and wine stains and broken glass were found around their home. There's also the 911 tape of Bob saying, "I just shot my wife," which is something people usually say after they've just, you know, shot someone. In the days after his wife's death, Bob Ward reportedly acted suspiciously jovial.
His defense claims that Diane Ward was suicidal and that Bob was trying to stop her from shooting herself when the gun went off. Jurors didn't buy that, and after 12 hours of deliberation, convicted him of second degree murder. And after all of this- the professional misconduct, the fighting, the 911 call, the bizarre jailhouse behavior, Ward's attorney has realized that Ward has no one to blame for the verdict but... Casey Anthony.
"What happened to Casey Anthony certainly makes it more difficult for any defendant, probably anywhere in the state of Florida, to get a fair trial," [Ward's Defense Attorney] Kirkconnell said. "I think there is a widely held belief, or prejudice, based on the Casey Anthony case because people may have felt that that verdict was not the proper verdict."
Nice try, dude, but Casey Anthony had nothing to do with the fact that your client's story sounds fishier than a Catholic school lunchroom on a Lenten Friday.
Fla Millionaire Convicted of Murdering Wife [Boston Globe]
Image via AP