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Dr. Yazeed Essa Guilty: Cyanide Poisoning Caused Wife Rosemarie Essa to Die in Crash

Rosemarie and Yazeed Essa
CBS/AP Photo
Rosemarie and Yazeed Essa
Rosemarie and Yazeed Essa
CBS/AP Photo
CLEVELAND (CBS/AP) On Feb. 24, 2005, Rosemarie Essa collapsed behind the wheel of her SUV, crashed into another car, and died. On Friday, five years later, a Cleveland jury convicted her husband, former Ohio emergency room doctor Yazeed Essa, of aggravated murder for the death.

The jury heard weeks of testimony and deliberated for days before returning the verdict against Dr. Yazeed Essa. In the end, they agreed with prosecutors: Yazeed Essa had poisoned his wife by lacing her calcium supplements with cyanide - and that's what caused the fatal car crash. He is guilty of aggravated murder.

After his wife's death, Essa fled to Lebanon. Last year, he gave up an extradition fight and was returned from Cyprus to Ohio. He now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

As the verdict was announced, family members of Rosemarie Essa held hands. After jurors left the courtroom, the victim's family hugged police and prosecutors. While leaving the courtroom, defense attorney Mark Marein said: "We're disappointed." The doctor's relatives would not comment. Rosemarie Essa's brother, Dominic DiPuccio, said the family was delighted with the jury's decision.

Sentencing is set for Tuesday.

March 3, 2010 - Essa Exclusive: 48 Hours Mystery Producer Describes the Yazeed Essa Case as Verdict Looms