Retired Army veteran, Lt. Col. Ralph Wald, spoke out Saturday morning for the first time since a jury found him not guilty of murder in the shooting death of his wife's lover.
Wald stood on his front lawn with his military medals displayed in front of him and stood behind his actions nearly three months ago.
"All I wanted to do was protect my wife." Wald said. "I was very pleased when I heard the 'not guilty.'"
Wald, 70, has said he woke up and found his wife, Johnna Flores, in their living room having sex with a former neighbor, Walter Conley. Wald maintains his wife had told him she wasn't capable of having sex and, because he couldn't see the other man's identity, he thought his wife was being raped.
"I didn't know if he had any weapon or weapons with him. All I knew is somebody was fornicating with my wife," Wald said, adding he might not have pulled the trigger under different circumstances. "If I had known who it was, that person might not have died."
During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Wald as calculating, saying he heard his wife and Conley, 32, having sex in their house, grabbed his gun, and shot Conley in cold blood.
Fox 13 News stopped by the home of Conley's relatives to see how they were handling the verdict but no one answered the door.
The Vietnam veteran, meanwhile, remained unapologetic, yet sympathetic Saturday.
"I'm sure the victim's family loves the person who I shot and I think that's sad," he said. "They have my sympathy."
Wald said he has forgiven his wife but adds he'll have a more difficult time learning to trust her again; he has no plans, however, to leave Flores.
"I don't think it would be honorable for me to bail on her and I'm not planning on [it]," he said. "I'm not being naive. I don't think I'm being senile. This is the way I feel."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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