Retired Air Force major guilty of trying to kill 2 family members

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A retired Air Force Major is facing 25 years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty, Thursday night, of trying to kill his wife and father-in-law.

Thomas Maffei claimed prescription medications sent him into a rage on Nov. 2, 2012, when he opened fire on his then-wife, Katherine Ranta, and her father, Robert, at her Coral Springs apartment. Both victims survived their gunshot wounds.

Katherine and Robert tearfully sat in the courtroom as a jury foreman read the guilty verdict. The jury took just six hours to find Maffei guilty on two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

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Once out of the courtroom, the victims could be heard celebrating the verdict.

“This was a person who, when I met him, had a mask on,” Katherine said. “Very charming and sweeping me off my feet, but as soon as that mask drops, it’s sociopathic.”

Maffei shot Katherine and Robert multiple times as his 4-year-old son begged him to stop.

“We think about our grandson who had to view such violence and trauma at the hands of his dad,” Robert said. “From age 4, for the rest of his life, he has to come to terms with that, and we are all here to support him.”

Robert lost the use of his hand due to his gunshot wounds, while Katherine has chronic pain. Both have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

They said the guilty verdict will help them cope.

“The relief I felt after six years of being harassed and stalked, over and over from this person, and nothing ever happening to him, for him to finally not get away with it, I can’t even describe how wonderful it feels,” Katherine said.

Maffei’s sentencing is set for April 7.

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