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A Florida jury has convicted Cristobal Palacio of second-degree murder and two counts of child abuse in the October 2008 shooting death of his ex-wife's British husband, Paul Winter, in front of her children, NBCMiami.com reported.
Palacio, 46, was charged with first-degree murder in Winter's killing in Palacio's Kendall driveway.
But the jury Friday night opted to convict him of the lesser murder charge instead, as well as child abuse. Palacio shot Winter six times, including twice in the back, in a jealous rage in front of his 6-year-old twins and his ex-wife, Jennifer Winter, according to authorities.
Jurors deliberated for almost 20 hours over two days before coming back with their decision.
"I don't know what case they watched," defense attorney Michael Walsh said. "I don't know what facts they listened to."
On the last day of his trial on Wednesday, Palacio tearfully told the jury he acted in self-defense.
He said he thought Winter, who wasn't armed, was going for a gun.
"He comes out like he’s so pissed, angry, I mean, you could see the veins,” Palacio said. “I hadn't done nothing to this guy. He starts coming at me."
When the verdicts were read Friday, Palacio did not show emotion. He looked forward and blinked.
"He's just in shock," Walsh said. "He doesn't even know what just happened."
Walsh also explained why his client shot six times.
"When you squeeze that trigger, you can fire 10 bullets in less than three seconds, so in three seconds when your life is threatened, you're not really counting bullets, you're just squeezing," he said.
Winter, originally from Tunbridge Wells, had moved to Miami in 2007 and married the ex-wife of Palacio, a fraud investigator for Citibank, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The graphic designer, 42, was in the process of applying for U.S. residency and had planned to open a bed and breakfast with his American wife, whom he met through an online gaming website, the Telegraph reported.
During the trial, Jennifer Winter told the court: "He walked up to my husband after he was laying face down and he shot him more in the back, after he was already dead – he shot him more in the back."
She wept as she described the moment after the shooting, and said: "Why did you do this? Why did you kill my husband? How could you do this? Then he just smiled like he was so proud of himself."
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