CRIME
12/16/2011 07:24 pm ET Updated Feb 15, 2012

Bob Ward, Fla. Millionaire Convicted Of Killing Wife, Gets 30-Year Sentence

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla, Dec 16 (Reuters) - A millionaire convicted of
second-degree murder for the shooting death of his wife in
their Isleworth, Florida, mansion in 2009 was sentenced on
Friday to 30 years in prison.

At the September trial of Bob Ward, 63, jurors heard a 911
call in which he told dispatchers that he had shot his wife,
Diane. His lawyers said that Diane Ward was killed when the
couple struggled over a gun and it accidentally discharged. His
lawyers also said that Diane Ward might have been suicidal.

State experts calculated that Diane Ward was shot in the
face from a distance of 18 inches, and testified that it would
have been impossible for her to do that. Prosecutors said that
she had not seemed suicidal in conversations that day with
friends and family, and had just opened a Facebook account.

Bob Ward was reported to have been under stress at the time
of the shooting from a business bankruptcy and home
foreclosure. The year before the shooting, Ward filed for
bankruptcy protection for his real estate development company
and stopped making $17,000-monthly mortgage payments on his
home, according to news reports at the time of the shooting.
The seven-bedroom estate was listed for sale at the time for
more than $5 million.

Isleworth, where the couple lived, is a gated subdivision
near Orlando known for a car accident involving Tiger Woods,
also in 2009. Woods' accident triggered the revelation of
several extramarital affairs and led to his divorce.
(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)

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