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Published: Thursday, 7/13/2006

Delphos-area man found guilty of killing his wife

VAN WERT, Ohio - A Delphos-area man charged with murder in the slaying of his wife last year changed his plea in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court yesterday to no contest.

John P. Gaddy, 50, had been scheduled for a pretrial hearing but used the appearance to announce his change of plea.

Gaddy was charged with killing his wife, Laura, 46, in their home Oct. 5.

He originally had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

Authorities said he called 911 the night of the slaying and told the dispatcher he had just murdered his wife.

He told the officer he bludgeoned her with a hammer, crushed her scalp, cut her throat, and stabbed her at least three times. Gaddy told the officer his wife was dead.

Van Wert County sheriff's deputies found the victim and Gaddy at the home when they arrived.

During his appearance in court, Gaddy answered questions from Judge Charles Steele and made a statement to the victim's family. Judge Steele found Gaddy guilty of murder.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday. He could receive 15 years to life in prison and a $15,000 fine.

In his statement, Gaddy said: "There were extenuating circumstances in this case, as the neurologist states, but it doesn't justify what happened. I'm solely taking responsibility for that.

"I just want to apologize to all the family members and the other people that I hurt, I'm devastated by this. That is all I have to say," he said, offering no motive for the crime.

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