BEAVER (KDKA) — A man accused of shooting his estranged wife and killing her friend has been convicted of third-degree murder.
Greg Baker, 57, fatally wounded Thomas Dougherty. His now ex-wife, Linda Baker, says she pretended to be dead during the shooting back in December of 2009.
After 17 hours of deliberation, the jury of five men and seven women came back with a mixed verdict.
They found 57-year-old Baker not guilty of first degree murder and attempted murder, but found him guilty of third-degree murder and aggravated assault.
“And our contention has been it was an act in the heat of passion,” the defendant’s attorney, Steven Colafella, said. “My suspicion is there were some on the jury that believed that and I think there were others that didn’t.”
The verdict means Baker no longer faces the possibility of a life sentence or the death penalty.
Linda Baker said she didn’t want her ex-husband to be put to death, but to never be released from prison.
Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said they would push for a maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years.
Cindy Burger, Dougherty’s sister, said she was devastated by the murder and disappointed in the verdict.
“The DA and his team did a wonderful job proving without a doubt this man committed premeditated murder and we just can’t understand why a jury can’t see that,” she said.
A sentencing date has not yet been set as the judge awaits a pre-sentencing report.