COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A Jury has found Jeffery Moretz guilty of Second Degree Murder.
The 56-year-old took the stand today regarding the 2011 fatal shooting his estranged wife, Christine, in Physicians Regional Hospital.
Moretz faces life in prison.
Below are updates from the court room throughout the day:
5:31 p.m.: Jurors have been given their instructions and are now deliberating.
2:21 p.m.: Moretz takes the stand in his own defense.
He says he was a self employed contractor, and that he married Christine when he was 18 in Ohio. He says they were high school sweethearts. Moretz says they moved to Naples for the sunshine. he tells the court that he first came in contact with guns as a kid. On July 5th, he says he was carrying two guns, but that he carried a gun all the time for many years. He says it wasn't unusual for him the have an extra clip. Moretz says he always had a knife in his pocket and had box cutter because he was opening boxes at work that morning. Moretz says he filed for divorce, and after two months, Christine was gone and didn't try to get back together with him.
In January 2011, Moretz says he thought there may be problems because she was working and going to school a lot. He says they used to do a lot of walking and other things together, but Christine started doing things by herself. He says it didn't seem right. He felt insecure. Christine would be gone for two hours and wouldn't come back with anything. He says there were several unexplainable situations. Christine was never around, and everything changed.
The defense asked if Moretz knew of an individual named Christopher Serna. He says he knows of the name, since being incarcerated.
Moretz says he and Christine used to have intimate close relationship.
He says he felt pretty empty inside and that his life changed a lot toward the end. He felt very lonely and says it was like she was there, but she wasn't. He says he suspected she was with someone else, but hadn't seen her with anyone. In April, he says he accessed the phone records and woke her up to ask what all of the phone calls were about. Moretz says he hit re-dial on her phone and the call went to Christopher Serna voice mail. Christine said she was counseling him because he was going through a divorce, thought it didn't make sense.
Moretz says when he re-dialed the number, he got a chance to ask Serna what was going on and asked if he was sleeping with Christine. Serna said he wasn't.
Moretz says he called her boss next, thinking she would know what was going on. She said she knew nothing. He says he then called the pastor at his church and left messages, before driving to Bradenton to his mother's. He says he stayed there for four or five days. He says he wasn't working because he couldn't function.
He says he had casual contact with Christine, and she acted like nothing happened. Moretz says he confronted her about cheating, but she denied it. Christine moved out by the weekend. After she moved out, Moretz says he went home and tried to get his mind off it, but it was a bad situation. He tried to continue working, but couldn't focus.
Toward the end of June, Moretz says their phone calls were becoming more pleasant, and the two started talking about their granddaughters coming down. Moretz says a couple weeks before Christine died, she told him she had to show him something and invited him over. Once there, he says she showed him paper work and the two made love. He says he left with hope. That happened three more times and the two started to have conversations about getting back together.
2:19 p.m.: Moretz' mother, Thelma Elliott, takes the stand. She has lived in Naples for two years, and lived in Bradenton prior to that for nine years. She was married to Moretz' father for 17 years.
She says Moretz called her every evening after work, and that she got a phone call about Christine. She found out that Christine had called some guy 20 times one day. Moretz was really sad and heartbroken. She says here were times when he would cry. She says he went downhill, got worse, and didn't have much to say.
Elliott says she loved Christine.
1:46 p.m.: The defense calls Moretz' sister, Darlene Younce, as their first witness. She keeps looking and smiling at him. He smiled back at her, showing the first sign of emotion during the trial.
Younce says the marriage between Christine and Moretz was wonderful while they lived in Ohio. They moved to Naples in 2004. The two started dating in high school, according to Younce. In January of 2011, she says Moretz brought Christmas presents to his granddaughters, and Christine wasn't there, which was unusual. Younce says her brother was distant, but he said he felt fine. They didn't discuss Christine.
She says that in April 2011, Younce had a discussion with Moretz. She says he called her upset, and said he was torn up. He told his sister Christine was talking to some guy, and that he just couldn't believe it. His sister was trying to console him, but he was shocked and devastated. She says they had discussions about Christine. He was very unhappy without her. She says he was so sad and wanted her back. He said if she could just prove nothing happened, he could move on. His sister says Moretz told her he just wished God would take him.
12:04 p.m.: The court is in recess until 1:30 p.m. The defense will call their witnesses afterward. Moretz will testify sometime this afternoon.
11:19 a.m.: The judge denies the defense's motion of judgement of acquittal, based on two witness testimonies-- Michael Camuglia and Brenda Garcia. Michael was the patient at the hospital who Christine was visiting at the time of the shooting. Brenda was the nurse in the room at the time.
11:10 a.m.: The last witness called was the medical examiner. He gave his expert opinon on Christine's death. He said she died of gunshot wound to the head and that the manor of death was homicide. He showed pictures to the jury from autopsy.
10:15 a.m.: The State called witness Dr. Manfred Borges tot he stand. He's the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for District 20, and is a medical doctor. The State of Florida has five manors of death: natural, accidental, suicides, homicides, and undetermined. The point of an autopsy is to determine the cause, manor of death and documentation. He collects evidence during the autopsy to turn over to the investigating agency. When there is a homicide, the medical examiner is called and goes to scene. They begin to understand what happened.
On July 5th Borges went to Physicans Hospital. When he entered the hospital found the body of a deceased individual. He says there was a lot of material. He saw a female there with her arms stretched, upper eye lids bruised, and a head injury. He arranged for the body to be taken to the morgue.
He found a gunshot wound above the hairline, so he had her hairline shaved, so that he could see he injuries. He took photographs through the process. One photo shows the left side of Christine's head. It shows her left ear, a portion of her eye lids, hair has been shaved above aerial gunshot wound.
Borges says the skull is supposed to be one continous bone. He says there was damage to the brain. The bullet exited the other side of her head.