ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.,None — It was an eventful day in court on Thursday in the murder trial of Isleworth millionaire Bob Ward.
His daughter, Mallory Ward, took the stand, and the 911 call made by Bob Ward the night that his wife was shot and killed inside their home in 2009, was played to a jury. Bob Ward's brother-in-law also testified.
Mallory Ward didn't say anything negative about her father, but she did give the court a better idea of what was going on before her mother Diane's death.
The Wards' 23-year-old daughter said she talked to her mother three times the day she was shot to death and said that everything seemed to be fine.
Mallory Ward admitted she had talked to both of her parents about their drinking but was more open about her mother's drinking than her father's.
"Mom, you get a little loopy when you drink, maybe cut back," said Mallory Ward about her chat with her mom.
However, when asked about what she said to her father, it was a little less damaging.
"I said, 'If she's going to cut back you need to too,'" she said.
Mallory Ward said her parents fought but was reluctant to provide details. When the defense asked about the Wards' marriage, she replied, "She told me a month before she died, 'Your father is the finest man I've known.' I knew that it was a relationship that was built on respect, two people that loved each other so much," Mallory Ward said.
Then, Mallory Ward told the state that she didn't know her father had lunch and cocktails with an ex-girlfriend earlier that year her mother was shot to death.
"Is that something your mother would have appreciated?" prosecutor Robin Wilkinson asked Mallory Ward.
"Objection!" said the defense.
"Objection sustained," said Judge Jenifer Davis.
Ward's ex-girlfriend said he complained about his wife and said his physical abuse ended their relationship.
Ward's other daughter, Sarah, cried as she and the jury listened to her father's call to 911.
As it played, she was consoled by her mother's sister.
"I just shot my wife," said Ward in the 911 call.
"You just what?" the operator asked Ward.
"I just shot my wife. She's dead. She's done. I'm sorry," Ward said.
The 911 operator asked whether Ward had shot his wife on purpose. He said, "No, it was an accident." He later said Diane Ward shot herself, and then Ward said the gun went off during a struggle.
Ward's attorney, Kirk Kirkconnell, described to the jury of six about what Ward said happened the night of Diane Ward's death, using the struggle as his defense.
"He hears a sound behind him and right there is his wife with the loaded gun in her hand. She is right there on top of him, not a word is spoken. What would you do? He grabs the gun [and] tries to wrestle it away," said Kirkconnell.
Ward appeared to be unemotional over his wife's death, and prosecutors said they want to use that against him. The defense, however, is trying to prevent that.
Prosecutors told the jury he did not call his daughters to tell them that their mother was dead. They stated that Ward had his in-laws do it for him, even though he was making calls and sending texts and emails with his Blackberry.
Also on Thursday, the deputy who drove Ward to the sheriff's headquarters that night said Ward was not upset and talked about football. He testified that Ward smelled of alcohol, but Thursday morning, the defense focused instead on Diane's drinking that night.
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