Watch CBSN Live

Prosecution rests in murder trial of Fla. millionaire Bob Ward

Robert Ward, left, confers with his attorney Michael Snure. Pool,AP Photo/Red Huber

(CBS/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday against central Florida developer Bob Ward, who is accused of fatally shooting his wife.

Ward, 63, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Diane Ward, who was shot and killed inside their Isleworth mansion in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty.

One of the state's final witnesses, Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia, testified that she believes Diane Ward's death was a homicide, not a suicide, as the defense has previously suggested.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Garavaglia said it's very unusual to have a gunshot suicide and no-contact wound from the weapon. Based on testing, she thinks Diane Ward was shot from an 18-inch distance.

Ward is accused of fatally shooting his wife only days before she was to give a deposition in a lawsuit alleging that he blew millions of dollars on big houses and expensive cars while his business failed.

One of the couple's daughter's, Sarah Ward, also testified yesterday saying that her mother never handled guns, but her father did. She also said that her mother would lose her temper sometimes when she drank. Sarah Ward said she believed her mother had been drinking the day of the shooting.

Ward told a 911 dispatcher five times that he had shot his wife in a call placed September 2009. But he later said he tried to take the gun away from his wife when it went off accidentally.

The defense has indicated it will likely need two full days to put on its case. They plan to call five expert witnesses and several lay witnesses. At the start of the trial last week, Ward's lawyer said Ward was trying to take the gun away from his wife when it went off. Toxicology reports showed that Diane Ward had antidepressants and alcohol in her body before she was killed.

Complete coverage of Bob Ward on Crimesider  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue