OSWEGO, NY – Joyce Malone is facing a 5 to 25 years prison sentence.
The 70-year-old Oswego Town woman was found guilty today (Jan. 24) of first-degree manslaughter.
In Oswego County Court, an eight-woman and four-man jury found her guilty of second-degree murder. However, they also accepted the defense of extreme emotional disturbance, which reduced it to the lesser charge.
Malone remains free on $100,000 bond, which she posted shortly after her arrest last spring.
She will return to court on March 7 for sentencing.
The jury began its deliberations at 9 a.m. and returned with a verdict just before 3:15 p.m.
Malone shot her husband, Ralph, on March 19, 2010, in their Tug Hill Road home.
The Malones had been married 51 years and had three children together, two daughters and a son.
In court last week, Malone’s defense attorney, Jim Eby, said she admits shooting her husband to death.
Eby argued that his client suffered from extreme emotional disturbance and didn’t realize what she was doing when she killed her husband.
Ralph Malone controlled every part of his wife’s life, right from the start of their married life, the attorney said.
During that time, she learned to suppress and deny her own feelings, Eby said.
He said during his closing argument Friday afternoon that she “lost control” and blew a fuse” on March 19, 2010.
“The question is, what was her mental state at the time of the shooting? That is the key issue,” he continued.
Oswego County Assistant District Attorney Gregory Oakes paints a different picture of Mrs. Malone.
According to the prosecution, she was in control and made a choice to kill her husband.
Joyce Malone was in control and knew what she was doing, Oakes said.
He said she chose to get the gun and sit and wait for her husband to fall asleep before shooting him.
Following court today, Eby said he declined to make a comment at this time.
“Disappointed; I thought we had certainly proven the murder,” Oakes said. “And, I did not think the defense had proved the affirmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance.”
Psychologist Norman Lesswing (defense witness) testified Malone suffered from dissociative amnesia at the time of the shooting and extreme emotional disturbance. The ADA described the testimony as “inadequate.”
“But, ultimately, the jury apparently felt differently,” he said. “It was a tough case for the jury. Certainly there were a lot of emotional issues involved with this case. It’s hard to say what factors the jury considered ultimately relevant.”
Malone left with her daughters and son-in-law. None of them made a comment.