After millionaire developer Bob Ward was found guilty of second degree murder Saturday in the killing of his wife in Isleworth, Fla., his defense seemed to blame the verdict on backlash from the Casey Anthony acquittal, which occurred in the same state in July.
"Certainly what happened to Casey Anthony makes it more difficult for any defendant in, probably anywhere in the state of Florida, to get a fair trial and that's a concern," said Ward's attorney Kirk Kirkconnell.
A jury found Anthony not guilty in the murder of her daughter Caylee.
But former prosecutor and defense attorney Susan Filan completely disagrees.
"I don't think the jurors are going to take it out on this particular defendant if they happen to disagree with the Casey Anthony verdict," Filan said on "Good Morning America" this morning.
The defense team is threatening to appeal the verdict.
"Everybody appeals their verdict if they lose, it's the defendant's right. They're going to just look for some kind of legal error. They can't say 'I think the jury got it wrong.' They have to find some kind of evidentiary error, something that was introduced that shouldn't have been," said Filan.
But Filan didn't think Ward had any chance of succeeding in an appeal.
"I think the defense made a mistake by saying either accident or suicide. If he was there in the room with her and he really didn't have anything to do with it, I think he would know which one, particularly if she was shot between the eyes, he would have seen her raise the gun to her head."
If it was in fact a suicide, it would be out of the ordinary for a female to shoot herself between the eyes.
"First of all women don't usually shoot themselves, and second of all, most women don't shoot themselves between the eyes. No suicide victim usually goes right between the eyes. It's usually to the temple or under the chin," said Filan.
Ward Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder
Ward, who could face life in prison when he is sentenced in November, was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom Saturday.
Diane Ward, 55, was found dead in the couple's Isleworth home in Sept. 2009.
Bob Ward, 63, was accused of shooting her at point blank range. The defense team argued that Diane Ward was suicidal as a result of a combination alcohol and depression medication, and that her husband was grabbing the gun from her hand and she either shot herself or the gun went off accidentally.
"We don't know if it was a suicide or not, and we don't know what her intentions were when she took that gun," Kirkconnell said Thursday in closing arguments.
Prosecutors disagreed, and arguing that Bob Ward, in a fit of rage, intentionally shot his wife in the face.
"This is about a dead woman and the laws of the state of Florida," prosecutor Robin Wilkinson said.
In an emotional week of testimony, prosecutors questioned Ward's daughter Sarah, who told the court Tuesday that she loved both her parents very much but also described her mother under the influence of alcohol.
"My mother threw a suitcase at me when she was drinking red wine," she told the court.
Wilkinson pointedly stated that Sarah Ward was not there when her mother "ended up shot in the face."
At one point during his daughter's testimony, Bob Ward banged his hand on the courtroom table and put his head down. His daughter started crying after Wilkinson went through a line of questioning.