MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey elementary school teacher was convicted Monday of murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend, a retired officer with the New York Police Department.
The jury reached the verdict on its second day of deliberations in the trial of 54-year-old Virginia Vertetis.
During the four-week trial, Vertetis testified she shot 51-year-old Patrick Gilhuley in her Mount Olive home in 2014 because she thought he was going to kill her. Her lawyer claimed Gilhuley was drunk and attacked her because he thought she was going to report him to the Internal Revenue Service for not paying some of his taxes.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, contended Vertetis was distraught that Gilhuley was breaking up with her when she purposely shot him. The two had been together on and off for about six years.
During deliberations, the jury asked to have the testimony of Gilhuley’s daughter, Jennifer, read back. She had testified her father called her from his cellphone just before he was shot.
Patrick Gilhuley joined the NYPD in 1983 and worked in its housing division in Brooklyn and Staten Island. He and his partner were honored in 1993 after they interrupted a shootout and arrested four armed men in Staten Island, NJ.com reported at the time of his death.
He retired in 2003 and worked for a private investigation agency.
Vertetis, who was a fourth-grade math teacher at the Marie V. Duffy Elementary School in Wharton, also was convicted of a weapons offense. She faces 30 years to life in prison when she’s sentenced May 23.
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