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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wife faces 50 years in jail for shooting at her husband after she found his stash of child porn

11-19-2011 Maryland:
---She then got hold of ANOTHER gun which he also took off her before killing himself
---University lecturer tells court former USAF Lt Col killed himself out embarrassment over child porn cache
---‘The jury maybe thought that he committed suicide, but found that she had tried to murder him as well’
Jurors found Findlay, originally from Blairgowrie, Perthshire, guilty of attempted second degree murder following a two-and-a-half-day trial

A Scottish university lecturer faces 50 years in a U.S. jail for trying to murder her husband after finding his child porn.
Joanna Findlay, 41, blasted Gary Trogdon in the chest at their home in Hollywood, Maryland, but failed to kill him.

Mr Trogdon, a 55-year-old former U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, then took the gun and killed himself.

Jurors at St Mary’s County Circuit Court found Findlay, originally from Blairgowrie, Perthshire, guilty of attempted second degree murder following a two-and-a-half-day trial.

Findlay was also found guilty of the statutory firearms offence of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

State attorney Richard Fritz said Findlay now faces a potential 30 years in jail for attempted second degree murder, and potentially another 20 years on top for the firearms offence.

Mr Fritz said: ‘The jury found that she tried to murder him before he shot himself. They decided there was not enough evidence as to whether he committed suicide or she murdered him.

‘The jury maybe thought that he committed suicide, but found that she had tried to murder him as well.’

Findlay, who was an English lecturer at Maryland University, insisted throughout that Mr Trogdon had in fact shot himself over the embarrassment at his child porn cache.


Joanna Findlay, who studied at Aberdeen University and Dundee College, moved to the US 15 years ago on a student exchange programme. She married Trogdon 11 years ago.

Her parents, Freda and scrap merchant Thomas Findlay, of Blairgowrie, Perthshire, are understood to have flown out to support her.

Freda said last year: ‘Joanna is one of the most caring, good-natured people you could meet.’

But Alex Wahlberg, one of Findlay’s pupils, recalled that Findlay would frequently stop lessons to talk about her love of weaponry.

He said: ‘A class period didn’t go by that she didn’t talk about gun laws or the number of guns she has. She would talk about how her house was “a well-armoured home”.

She owned tons of them.’ ..Source..


Joanna Findlay guilty of US murder bid charge

11-18-2011 Maryland:

A Scots university lecturer has been convicted of attempting to kill her husband in their US home after finding child sex abuse images on his computer.

However, Joanna Findlay, from Blairgowrie in Perthshire, was cleared of her husband's murder by a jury, who concluded he had killed himself.

Findlay, 41, shot at her husband Gary Trogdon at their home in Hollywood, Maryland, on 30 October 2010.

She was released on bail, pending her sentence.

Prosecutors in Maryland said she could face up to 50 years in jail.

Five charges

Findlay was convicted of second degree attempted murder and a handgun charge following the death of her 55-year-old husband, a former US Air Force lieutenant colonel.

The judge at the Leonardtown courthouse allowed Findlay to remain free on bail, while a pre-sentence investigation was carried out.

It was reported the jurors were initially deadlocked after being asked to determine Findlay's guilt on five charges, ranging from assault to first degree murder.

They returned to the court so the judge could re-read them a summary of the case. An hour later the jury returned with its verdict.

Findlay moved away from Blairgowrie 15 years ago. She was a former Dundee College and Aberdeen University student.

She always maintained that her husband had turned his gun on himself after she confronted him. ..Source.. by BBC


Hollywood woman accused of killing husband

11-14-2011 Maryland:

Murder suspect’s lawyer argues death was suicide

Opening arguments Monday in the murder trial of a former college instructor included defense allegations that the victim her husband possessed child pornography and had a penchant for keeping multiple loaded guns in the house.

His death, the defense attorney argued, was a suicide.

When the prosecution began presenting its case later in the day, St. Mary’s County jurors heard three taped conversations from 911 calls made the night of Oct. 30, 2010 the first by Joanna Joyce Findlay, who is charged with murdering Gary Alan Trogdon, and the second two calls initiated by the emergency dispatcher. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the couple’s Hollywood home to find Findlay outside and Trogdon dead inside on a chair in the living room.

“What you will hear is an enraged woman saying my husband just assaulted me,” St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard D. Fritz said before the tapes were played.

Fritz (R) said that earlier the day of the murder the couple was seen in good spirits and had gone to a Mexican restaurant in California for dinner with a neighbor after helping work on the neighbor’s chicken coop.

Fritz alleged that later that night Findlay retrieved a .22 caliber pistol and shot it in the house before her husband took it away from her. Then, he said, Findlay used another pistol, this time a .38 caliber weapon, and eventually shot her husband at close range and “severed his heart.”

John Ray, Findlay’s lawyer, said in his opening argument that his client’s husband had pulled her from her bed that night and assaulted her, chasing her around the house, before she punched him in the nose.

Ray acknowledged that Findlay pulled out the .22 caliber gun and said she shot it into the home’s floor.

He said that based on gunpowder residue patterns on Trogdon’s shirt from the .38 caliber weapon, the gun muzzle was touching the husband’s shirt when it went off.

Ray said that when he presents the defense case later in the trial he intends to call as a witness a doctor who will testify that based on evidence the death was a suicide.

Prosecution witnesses called the first day of the trial included several sheriff’s officers who responded to the 911 call, the emergency dispatcher, a volunteer paramedic, a relative of Trogdon’s and a neighbor.

Detective Sarah Russell said she notified Findlay in the early morning hours the next day while she was at St. Mary’s Hospital that she was being held because her husband died at their house. The detective said Findlay then asked three questions what did her husband die from, whether the police thought she did it and the state of her pets at the house.

During opening arguments, the defense lawyer said that Findlay had discovered child pornography on her husband’s laptop two and a half months earlier and confronted him with it.

Trogdon went to a support group in Virginia the morning before he died, after his wife insisted he seek help for his obsession with child pornography, Ray alleged. Trogdon returned with a chip that showed he attended the group’s meeting, Ray said, an object the lawyer said would later be submitted as evidence.

Ray argued that Trogdon shot himself over the embarrassment of the child pornography.

Last week, during a pretrial hearing, Fritz objected to introducing the pornographic images as evidence, arguing it would be done solely “to inflame the jury.”

Ray alleged that detectives have seized several computers that have thousands of images of child pornography. He said that Findlay told detectives about the pornography the night her husband died.

Fritz said that Findlay was trying to overdose on drugs that night and that her husband took those drugs from her to stop her from committing suicide. The prosecutor said that some of that medication was found by police in Trogdon’s pants pockets.

Grand jurors indicted Findlay on a charge of first-degree murder from Trogdon’s death. Findlay, now 41, and her 55-year-old husband lived on Little Cliffs Road.

Findlay, originally from Scotland, worked as a writing instructor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Trogdon, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was on the faculty of American Military University, affiliated with the American Public University System in West Virginia. ..Source.. by JESSE YEATMAN, Staff writer


Scots woman jailed in the US for attempted murder set to appeal conviction

4-29-2012 Maryland:

A SCOTS woman jailed in the US for attempted murder wants a retrial – after the jury were told not to believe her because she isn’t a Christian.

University lecturer Joanna Findlay, 42, got five years for the attempted murder of husband Gary Trogdon.

She had been charged with murder but was convicted of the lesser crime after a jury decided she had fired a gun at him before he turned another weapon on himself.

The lecturer – originally of Blairgowrie, Perthshire – denied committing any crime.

She said her husband had killed himself after an argument in which she had fired a shot into the ground in self-defence.

The couple fought after Findlay found child porn on his computer.

She wants a retrial, claiming she might have been acquitted if state attorney Richard Fritz had not attacked her credibility based on her being an atheist.

During her trial, Fritz told a jury that Findlay’s testimony – sworn on oath to God – “cannot be relied on because she does not believe in God, she does not believe in Jesus Christ”.

Her lawyers also say prosecutors tried to portray her as a “porno queen” after making her read a short story expressing her leanings toward atheism and debauchery.

At a post-trial hearing, Fritz said: “Perhaps I did go a little too far in the closing argument but the proof was in the pudding.

“They convicted her on her 911 telephone call heard at the trial and they convicted her on the fact she had gunpowder residue on her.” ..Source.. by Russell Findlay

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