It took a jury less than three-hours to find Gary Stoddard guilty in the kidnapping murder of Heather Cassel on Wednesday afternoon. The 20-year-old woman was fatally shot in 2013.
Stoddard's nephew Jonathan Ritchey, the father of Cassel's child, was also implicated in the crime but reached a plea deal for his involvement.
Stoddard had confessed to detectives shortly after his arrest. On Wednesday, he denied it all and pinned it on Ritchey. He said he was trying to protect his nephew and claimed Ritchey was the real killer.
“I didn't kill heather, I didn't,” said Stoddard.
Prior to the verdict being read on Wednesday, Stoddard said he was extremely nervous and did not know how the trial would end. He cried during the interview and claimed to be remorseful for his role.
Stoddard appeared stunned when the verdict was read.
Some of the jurors were on the fence when they first began deliberations. One juror claimed the evidence simply pointed to no one else but Stoddard once they examined it.