A jury has found a Hermitage man guilty of first-degree premeditated murder after he was accused of hiring a friend to kill his wife in 2010.
According to investigators, Timothy Bozza paid Cory Cotham $10,000 to kill his wife, Veronica, as he lost custody of his son while they went into the final stages of a divorce.
The defense did not present any witnesses after Timothy Bozza said earlier Thursday he would not testify in the case.
The jury then began deliberations around 4 p.m. Thursday, and the verdict was delivered just before 5:30 p.m.
Friends and family of Veronica Bozza released a statement thanking investigators and the district attorney's office. The statement also said:
"Veronica is dearly missed by so many people. Her eternal love for her son was beyond compare. That love was also extended to her family and dear friends in and around the Nashville community. While there are no winners in a horrific and senseless crime such as this, we the family of our beloved Veronica are pleased that the two men responsible for her murder have officially been brought to justice. Now we can all begin to move forward and be a reflection of the love and light that she extended to us during her beautiful life."
The conviction carries a life sentence of at least 51 years in prison.
Cotham was convicted in February of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery, and received a sentence of life plus 25 years in prison.
A Nashville jury on Wednesday heard a taped police interview of a husband on trial for hiring a friend to kill his wife.
Veronica Bozza was later found shot to death in her Hermitage home.
While Cotham was found guilty of murder in February, Bozza has been adamant that he had nothing to do with her death.
After he was arrested, police video shows Bozza breaking down in tears and admitting he knew that Cotham killed Veronica.
Bozza admitted to police that he hung out with Cotham after the homicide, and Cotham asked him for money but didn't pay him.
Bozza told police that he always secretly wished something bad would happen to his wife but he was "just joking around" with Cotham and didn't think he would actually follow through with killing her.
Investigators asked Bozza during the police interview why he didn't call. Bozza said he didn't know what to do and stayed quiet to keep everything together for his son.
Bozza closed his eyes as the prosecution showed pictures of his wife's dead body during testimony.
Perhaps the most interesting evidence presented Tuesday were video recordings of police interrogating Timothy Bozza. They wanted to know why Timothy Bozza's wedding ring was on the floor next to his wife's body, why he spoke with Cotham 13 times via cell phone on the day of the murder and why Timothy Bozza inquired about his wife's insurance policy before the murder.
During the interview, Timothy Bozza told detectives the divorce was not messy and insisted he wanted to cooperate with police.
"Did you send somebody over there to hurt your wife?" a detective is overheard asking Timothy Bozza.
"No, sir. No. No," he responds.
"Did you send somebody over there to scare her?" the detective asks.
"No, sir. No, sir. I would not do that. We were finally at a point to where this was over. No, sir. I don't know who would even want to," Timothy Bozza said.
Family members from both sides were in the courtroom as witnesses continued to take the stand one after another Tuesday.
Bozza is charged with first-degree murder.
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