CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – A Broward County jury has found a retired Air Force major accused of shooting his ex-wife in front of the couple’s four-year-old son guilty of attempted first-degree murder.
Thomas Maffei’s ex-wife, Katherine Ranta and her father, Robert, cried tears of joy following the verdict.
“The physical scars, they heal, and it’s a constant reminder. My hand that he shot through is numb. I can move it but it’s numb,” Ranta said. “I mean, it’s a constant reminder every day, but the psychological wounds, it’s nothing that you just get over time.”
Wednesday, Ranta relived the incident in court, telling the jury how he shot her and her father. Ranta testified that her son pleaded with his father to stop.
“He said, ‘Don’t do it, daddy. Don’t shoot mommy,’” said Ranta.
Maffei has admitted to the double shooting, but he claims it was not pre-meditated attempted murder.
“If there were any intent to murder, they would be dead. He had at least 15 minutes to murder them,” said Maffei’s attorney Fred Haddad.
Following the verdict, Haddad said he planned to appeal the decision.
“We have to see where it goes from here. We have a lot of post-conviction work to do. We have motions for a new trial. I disagree with the fact-finding but nothing I can do. Juries make the decision,” said Haddad.
Haddad said Maffei suffered from a whole host of problems after his military service in Iraq and the day of the shooting he suffered from involuntary intoxication.
“Mr. Maffei had already a confirmed diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depression and panic disorder,” said Psychiatrist Dr. David Kramer.
On the day of the shooting, the jury heard that Maffei went to the VA clinic for severe insomnia. He was extremely anxious, depressed, and had panic attacks.
An expert on the stand said Maffei was on pain medication and was then put on more drugs.
“I have every reason to believe that he had been, in his system, a significant amount of opiate, pain medication and a new prescription for clonazepam that had been prescribed hours before,” said Dr. Kramer.
The argument was it was those drugs combined that lead to the double shooting.
Robert Ranta says the shooting was a case of domestic violence, not having to do with PTSD. He adds since the attack, he and his daughter are the ones who suffer from PTSD.
“Like Kate, I suffer from PTSD. And those are elements that we have to live for forever,” he said. “But more importantly, we think about our grandson who had to deal with such violence and trauma at the hands of his dad. For him now, from age four for the rest of his life, he has to come to terms with that.”
Maffei could spend the rest of his life in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 7th.