Jury finds former soldier guilty of murdering his wife

It took jurors just over two hours Tuesday to find a former soldier guilty on all counts for fatally shooting his wife back in 2011.

According to District Attorney Jack Browning, Shay Merritt of Aragon was found guilty on malice murder, felony murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, aggravated assault family violence, and first degree child cruelty.

Browning, who prosecuted the case in Polk County Superior Court said despite the defense claiming the shooting was an accident, the forensic evidence speaks for itself.

“We had brought in a GBI Crime Scene reconstructionist who basically testified as to the forensic evidence that was seized on the scene and was able to convince the jury that his [Merritt’s] story that this was an accident was inconstant with the evidence from the scene.”

According to Browning, Merritt fatally shot his wife in the head with an assault rifle at her apartment in front one of her children on September 17, 2011

Merritt awaits sentencing, which is set for Tuesday, August 19.

Murder sentences carry a mandatory life sentence, according to Georgia law.

Judge Michael Murphy will decide on whether Merritt will have the possibility of parole.

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