Bob Ward Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder of His Wife

Bob Ward remained stoic during the verdict announcement as his daughter cried.

Sept. 24, 2011 — -- Millionaire developer Bob Ward was found guilty of second degree murder this morning in the killing of his wife in Isleworth, Fla.

Ward, who could face life in prison when he is sentenced in November, was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom.

After several outbursts in court this week, Ward chose to stay silent when asked if he wanted to take the stand in the trial.

Diane Ward, 55, was found dead in the couple's Isleworth home in September 2009. 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," Ward's attorney Kirk Kirkconnell said Thursday in closing arguments.

Prosecutors disagreed, and arguing that 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.

The courtroom drama continued on Wednesday when Ward grew angry over testimony about a life insurance policy on his wife -- arguing that the numbers mentioned were incorrect.

"It's not a $10 million life insurance policy," Ward yelled.

The jury began deliberations yesterday, and there was a large amount of evidence to consider, including the stoic 911 call made by the defendant.

On Sept. 21, 2009, Ward called 911 from the couple's home, telling a dispatcher five times that he had shot his wife in her face. Isleworth is a community that was once home to celebrities like Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.

"She's dead. She's done. I'm sorry," he said in the 911 call.

While being questioned later, Ward told police, "I'm really concerned about my wife and children. I have two kids in college and it's a nightmare, but we probably need to go ahead and get a lawyer in here."

As the interrogation continued, Ward began to change his story, arguing that his wife actually pulled the trigger and committed suicide as he tried to take the gun away. Diane Ward had high levels of an antidepressant in her system as well as alcohol, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say the Ward family's failing company, Land Resources, may have been the motive in Diane Ward's killing. Attorneys wanted to depose Diane Ward for a series of issues related to her husband's bankrupt company in the days before her death.

Ward allegedly transferred money to his wife to pay for cars, mortgages, trips to the Cayman Islands and Europe, tuition for their children and a life insurance policy.