Retired Air Force major found guilty in shooting of estranged wife

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A jury found retired U.S. Air Force Major Thomas Maffei guilty on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, Thursday night, in the shooting of his estranged wife and father-in-law in Coral Springs.

Just before noon, Thursday, the prosecution and defense teams presented their closing arguments in Broward County Circuit Court. The jury delivered a guilty verdict on all counts shortly before 8 p.m.

He faces 25 years to life in prison.

Related: Lawyers present intoxication defense for retired Air Force major who shot family

Maffei’s defense attorneys claim post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety caused him to go to the Veterans Affairs clinic on Nov. 2, 2012, where he received prescription pills and a tranquilizer. Hours later, he went to his then-wife’s Coral Springs apartment and shot her and her father.

“I understood I was under enough stress, and I went to the VA, and I went to the crisis clinic,” Maffei said during questioning by police. “He said my EKG was bad, my heart is bad, my lungs are bad. I have cancer in my lungs. He referred me down to crisis center, and they prescribed me medication.”

His defense attorney, Fred Haddad, argued that his client’s intent was skewed that day due to PTSD and prescribed intoxication on pills such as oxycontin and klenazapan, a tranquilizer. “He was intoxicated that day because of what he took,” he said. “He had massive amounts he was taking of drugs that were lawfully prescribed.”

He added that Maffei is a good man. “There’s no history of violence,” he explained. “The doctor testified that there was no history of violence going through the entire record. If there were, they had the ability to bring in something to show you that.”

However, prosecutors argued otherwise.

“He wasn’t shooting recklessly, he was shooting center mass, right where his victims were standing,” explained prosecutor Whitney MacKay. “He didn’t stop there, though. He shot them both again, in the chest, as he stood over them. That is not an intention to injury. That is an intention to kill.”

“Ladies and gentleman, there is no possibility of you finding that man had no intention of doing exactly what he did that night,” said prosecutor Molly McGuire.

 

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