TAMPA — A jury said 70-year-old Vietnam veteran Ralph Wald is not guilty of shooting and killing 32-year-old Walter Conley. Wald faced second-degree murder charges.
Prosecutors said Wald heard his wife and Conley having sex in their house, grabbed his gun, and shot Conley in cold blood. But Wald said he thought his wife was being raped.
Wald said on the night of the shooting, he heard a noise and looked toward living room. He said he thought his wife was being raped. Wald said he went and got his gun, fired and shots and didn't bother to check IDs to see who he was shooting at.
He said he just wanted to protect his wife. Wald said he fired three shots, then checked to see if his wife was okay. Wald said at the end of the day, he has no regrets.
"If the same thing happened again, I would do the same thing," Wald said. "I didn't think I did anything wrong. I allegedly said, ‘I have a problem, I'll take care of it.' I'll own that. I will own that statement. I had a problem, I found someone raping my wife. I took care of it. I got a gun and I shot him. And I'm not trying to hide that from anybody. I said it to the 911, I said it to the two police detectives….I've been telling the truth."
His wife Johnna Lynn Flores told reporters Wald has forgiven her and the two plan to celebrate his acquittal at Waffle House.
"Because my husband puts me first, he's taking me to the Waffle House," Flores said.