Jury finds Paul Moore guilty on 3 counts of 2nd degree murder

Jury finds Paul Moore guilty on 3 counts of 2nd degree murder

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Paul Moore has been found guilty on three counts of second degree murder. Paul Moore has been found guilty on three counts of second degree murder.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A jury in the murder trial of Paul Moore has found him guilty on three counts of 2nd degree murder. The judge has set a sentencing date for March 6th. 

The jury began deliberating Friday afternoon in the triple murder trial, only hours after the suspect took the stand in his own defense.

Moore was accused of the May 2012 shooting deaths of his wife Christina Moore, her twin sister Bridgett Stagnolia and another woman, Amber Snellings.

When Moore took the stand, it was very emotional for the victims' families. Some family members had to walk out of the courtroom in tears at times.

Moore himself sometimes teared up while describing his on and off relationship with his wife Christina Moore.

Moore says he became suspicious of his wife after learning of her affair with Amber Snellings.

He says he went home on his lunch break on May 21, 2012 and found his wife engaging in a sexual act with Snellings. Moore says Christina's twin Bridgett Stagnolia was also in the room.

"I felt ashamed betrayed, overwhelmed. I was going in every direction," Paul Moore said on the stand.

The victims' families were overcome with emotion as Moore gave his testimony.

Moore says after catching his wife cheating, he then went to get his gun to shoot himself. However, the state asked if he intended to kill himself, why didn't he do it in the bedroom.

Moore said he didn't want to get the apartment messy. He said he was going outside to commit suicide when he saw his wife walking up the stairs and shot her instead.

Moore then said he turned and shot Bridget, Christina's twin, as he was about to step outside. He said he didn't remember shooting Snellings or shooting Christina and Bridgett a second time.

The state says the murders were premeditated because he had the mental capacity to call his brother, drive away from the apartment and throw the gun in the woods. The state says Moore was never going to kill himself and had no concern for the victims.

The defense said Moore is not a cool calculated killer because he didn't try to hide evidence at the crime scene and told the authorities he killed his wife. The defense says Moore acted out of passion and excitement and should not be found guilty of first degree premeditated murder.

The state hopes the jury finds Moore guilty of first degree murder in the deaths of each woman, which could carry a life sentence.

The defense said it was not planned and that it was voluntary manslaughter, which carries a three to six year sentence.

Moore has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting deaths of the three women.

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