Carrollton Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Plotting to Kill His Wife

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A North Texas jury has found a man guilty of attempted capital murder for hiring someone to kill his wife.

    On Thursday, a Denton County jury sentenced John Franklin Howard to life in prison for hiring someone to try and kill his wife in 2012.

    That same jury unanimously found Howard guilty Tuesday after only two hours of deliberation.

    The prosecution said Howard had been paying about a dozen people to kill his now ex-wife Nancy Howard over a three-year period starting in 2009.

    Throughout the trial, they focused heavily on an affair John Franklin Howard was having with a woman in California as the driving reason for the plan.

    The situation came to a head in August 2012 when Nancy Franklin was shot in the driveway of the couple's Carrollton home.

    Early in the trial, the 12-person jury saw graphic images of Nancy Franklin's wounded face and heard her story of having to crawl into the home while bleeding to call for help. She eventually lost one eye and suffered brain damage from the injury.

    Michael Lee Lorence was charged in the shooting and is awaiting trial, but the jury decided Tuesday it was the woman's husband who ultimately ordered the hit.

    During closing arguments, the defense said that key pieces of evidence in the trial were missing, like records of where the cell phone the prosecution claimed John Franklin Howard used was when calls to the alleged hitmen were placed.

    They also called into question the character of the accusers against John Franklin Howard, saying the people he was allegedly working with were heavy drug users and frequently in and out of jail.

    The Howards' three adult children testified on their father's behalf, saying they did not believe he was guilty.

    John Franklin Howard showed little emotion when the jury's decision was read Tuesday, just staring off until deputies eventually took him into custody.