ROXBORO, N.C. — Jurors found a former state trooper guilty of attempted murder on Thursday.
Bobby Regan is accused of attempting to kill his wife, Danielle Regan, in June 2003. He was sentenced to 13 to 16 years in prison. Regan's attorneys already announced plans to appeal.
Afterward, jurors said reaching a guilty verdict was not an easy process.
"There was a lot of cobwebs to go through, a lot of sorting out to do," jury foreman Michael Lupton said. "I thought it was a soap opera. I thought it was Peyton Place."
After the verdict was read, Danielle Regan thanked the jury for reaching its decision and then addressed her estranged husband.
"I hope that you are ashamed over what you have done to all the people that you have done this to," she said.
Bobby Regan's supporters said they were stunned with the jury's verdict.
"Bobby Regan is not guilty. The blame should be put where it needed to be put. Linda Lee is responsible for this," said Katie Barker, Bobby Regan's friend.
Since Regan was a former law enforcement official, the judge ordered that he is provided protective custody while he is in prison.
Jurors returned their verdict shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday. Earlier in the day, they asked to see some evidence, including crime scene photos and the gun used to shoot Danielle Regan.
The gun, a .357 Magnum, was a Valentine's Day gift given to Regan by his former girlfriend, Linda Lee. The defense claims Lee shot Danielle Regan through a bathroom window after Regan got out of the shower.
In closing arguments, prosecutor David Saacks told jurors to use common sense. He said the gun was too heavy and too powerful for someone of Lee's size to manage. Prosecutors allege Regan shot his wife and tried to frame Lee for the shooting.
"We felt that that size of gun would have been too much for her to hold up to the window, hold it up over her head and pull the trigger," Lupton said.
Lee is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. However, a grand jury failed to indict her on attempted murder charges. Earlier in the week, the judge threw out a conspiracy to commit murder charge against Regan because it is the state's contention that he acted alone. Lawyers believe as a result of that ruling that it is unlikely that she will be charged with conspiracy.