The defense says James "Bob" Ward loved his family
Prosecutors: Ward killed wife, then presented inconsistent stories of what happened
Suspect has been charged with second-degree murder
A Florida jury on Friday has begun deliberating the fate of a millionaire accused of killing his wife in their upscale home
During the trial, attorneys painted sharply different pictures of James “Bob” Ward that jurors will have to weigh.
The defense said Ward loved his family, while prosecutors contend the Florida millionaire’s demeanor – along with the evidence – proves he murdered his wife.
Ward, 63, is charged with second-degree murder in the September 2009 death of his wife, Diane Ward, inside their home in suburban Windermere.
According to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, the victim was found in the master bedroom – “a large pool of blood at the top of her head” and a handgun on a nightstand next to the bed. She was shot between her eyes.
Ward told police the couple were the only ones in the house at the time besides their four dogs.
The defense rested its case Thursday, a week after testimony started. It asserted that Diane Ward died after a struggle over a loaded gun, not because of any ill intent of her husband.
The prosecution highlighted Bob Ward’s statements to authorities, friends and colleagues after his wife’s death, saying his stories were inconsistent.
Defense attorneys have said the the suspect loved his family and that he immediately called 911 after his wife’s death.
One of the couple’s daughters has testified that she detected no animosity between her parents.