ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A former Isleworth millionaire twice convicted of killing his wife was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday.
Bob Ward, who was convicted in February of killing his wife, Diane Ward, in 2009, pleaded for mercy.
"Please make this right," he said. "Please. I am a good person. I did not do this."
Ward told the judge he's a good person, but prosecutors said he has two sides.
Bob Ward’s daughter testified Thursday, asking the judge to be lenient with her father.
"I am begging you to have mercy and let us spend whatever time we might have left together," Sarah Ward said. "I promise you, this is not what my Mom would have wanted. This is not justice for Diane."
Defense attorneys said Ward is a sick man and can't receive the care he needs in prison. They asked that he be released based on time served.
But prosecutors said that being 70 years old isn't a reason to set someone free. The judge said it was a heinous crime, and she gave Ward almost the maximum time she could under the law.
The conviction was technically the second time Bob Ward was convicted of his wife’s murder. His first conviction in 2011 was later overturned by an appeals court, citing mistakes made during the first trial.
Bob Ward's defense claimed the evidence was mishandled, making it impossible to tell who pulled the trigger.
Ward said in a 911 call that he shot his wife and that he was sorry, but he later told investigators she killed herself.
Before the second trial, Ward declined a plea deal offered by prosecutors that would keep him in jail for several more years. He has already served six years. Ward told the judge Thursday that that was a bad call on his part.
Initially, Bob Ward and his attorneys thought he would go free after the second trial.
According to jailhouse calls Channel 9 obtained in March, Bob Ward changed his mind about the case's possible outcome following closing arguments.
Bob Ward believed he was going to be found guilty and blamed the jury, saying prosecutors lied.
Defense attorneys called Diane Ward's death an accident.
The defense said a suicide note written by Diane Ward was found in her Atlanta, Georgia, home when it was being cleaned out.
The family tried to point out that Diane Ward was unstable, but prosecutors said the letter wasn't written on the day she died, so it means nothing in regard to her death.
The Wards’ daughter, Mallory Ward, testified she talked to her mother three times on the day she died and she had no indication that anything was wrong with her mother.
"It wasn't 'Leave It to Beaver,' but nothing is. My parents loved each other," Mallory Ward said.
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 when the shot was fired, suggesting she didn't shoot herself.
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