Joanna Findlay, a Scottish university lecturer from Hollywood, US, faces 50 years in jail for trying to murder her husband Gary Trogdon after finding his child porn.
Joanna Findlay, 41, blasted her husband in the chest at their home in Hollywood, Maryland, but failed to kill him.
Gary Trogdon, 55, a former U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, then took the gun and killed himself.
Jurors at St Mary’s County Circuit Court found Joanna Findlay, originally from Blairgowrie, Perthshire, guilty of attempted second degree murder following a two-and-a-half-day trial.
Joanna Findlay was also found guilty of the statutory firearms offence of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
State attorney Richard Fritz said Joanna Findlay now faces a potential 30 years in jail for attempted second degree murder, and potentially another 20 years on top for the firearms offence.
Richard Fritz said: “The jury found that she tried to murder him before he shot himself. They decided there was not enough evidence as to whether he committed suicide or she murdered him.
“The jury maybe thought that he committed suicide, but found that she had tried to murder him as well.”
Joanna Findlay, who was an English lecturer at Maryland University, insisted throughout that Gary Trogdon had in fact shot himself over the embarrassment at his child porn cache.
The trial heard that Gary Trogdon had gone to a local support group the morning before he died, after his wife insisted he seek help for his obsession with child pornography.
Later that day, on October 30, 2010, they were seen in good spirits and had gone to a Mexican restaurant in California, Maryland, for dinner with a neighbour after helping work on their chicken coop.
However, the court heard there was a rapid deterioration in their behaviour and later that night Joanna Findlay tried to overdose on drugs but her husband took them off her.
Joanna Findlay claimed in court that he later assaulted her after she again brought up the child pornography.
The woman said: “He pushed me down on the bed and he laid on top of me… He wouldn’t let me up.”
After more struggling, Joanna Findlay said she eventually freed herself and took a .22-calibre pistol from a coffee table drawer in the living room.
Joanna Findlay said she shot the gun into the floor to scare him away and then called police.
Richard Fritz, prosecuting, said her husband took the gun off her but she then got hold of another pistol, this time a .38 calibre weapon, and then shot her husband at close range.
Joanna Findlay’s lawyer, John Ray, said that police seized several computers that have thousands of images of child porn from a computer owned by GaryTrogdon, who lectured in military history.
Officers found 10 guns in total in their home, but local medical examiner Dr Ana Rubio said it was difficult to say how Gary Trogdon had died.
Dr. Ana Rubio said: “The wound itself allows to be any of those three possibilities – homicide, suicide or accidental.”
Another medical expert, physician Dr. Jonathan Arden, concluded that the death was a suicide.
“You could put it in a textbook as an example of a suicidal gunshot wound,” Dr. Jonathan Arden said.
Joanna Findlay had originally faced a charge of murder in the first degree. If she been found guilty of that, she could have become the sixth person to have been executed in Maryland since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976.
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