• Bob Ward: Isleworth millionaire found guilty in retrial for wife's killing

    By: Kelly Healey , WFTV Web Staff


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Isleworth millionaire accused of shooting and killing his wife in 2009 was found guilty Thursday. 


    Bob Ward was found guilty in 2011 of fatally shooting Diane Ward at the couple’s Isleworth mansion in 2009. Ward’s first conviction was overturned by an appeals court due to mistakes made by the defense during the first trial.


    Out of the courtroom camera’s sight, both of Ward’s daughters, who have remained on their father’s side, cried.


    When the verdict was read, one couldn’t hold back and screamed, “It’s not fair. My mom tried to kill my dad and now he’s going to prison for it.”


    She was escorted out by deputies. 


    Ward was convicted of manslaughter with a firearm.


    The judge recommended  sentencing for later in the day, but Ward's lawyers asked for an extension. 


    It was then rescheduled for Feb. 26.


    Watch: Millionaire's murder conviction overturned


    State Attorney Aramis Ayala released a statement that said, “My office invested a lot of time, hard work and commitment to reach a guilty verdict, that we believe was warranted based upon the evidence and facts of the case. 


    We are pleased with the jury's verdict and satisfied justice was served.


    Ward's lawyers told the jury Wednesday that there is reasonable doubt about how Diane Ward died, and they called the shooting a terrible accident.


    But prosecutors said Ward never tried CPR or touched his wife after she was shot. They said Ward did not check to see if his wife was breathing.


    Defense attorneys called a professor to testify about how people grieve differently, and that there is evidence some men will immediately go into a mode of rebuilding their life.


    Read: Financial troubles, alcohol, focus in millionaire's retrial


    A financial expert called to the stand Tuesday said Ward's money problems would not have been a motive for his wife’s death since she could help him shield his assets from creditors.


    Records released Tuesday showed the couple had at least $9 million that was protected from individual creditors.


    Ward said during a 911 call on the night in question that he shot his wife and that he was sorry. But he later told investigators she killed herself.


    Read: Millionaire awaiting new trial in wife's killing bonds out of jail


    But medical examiner Joshua Stephany testified that the gun was at least 12 inches away from Diane Ward's face and that her eyes were open; suggesting there is no way she shot herself.


    Ward has been out on a $1 million bail since August, but the judge revoked the bond after the conviction. 


    Because it was a conviction of manslaughter with a firearm, Ward is now facing a sentence of up to life in prison, but no less than 25 years.


    © 2018 Cox Media Group.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.


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