Criminal Justice

Defendant said he shot lawyer to death 'because he made our lives a misery,' prosecutor tells jury


A failed businessman who blamed a country lawyer for the loss of his home and his girlfriend is being tried for the murder in the slaying of attorney James Ward, 58, who was fatally shot at his MGW Law office last year. He died three weeks later of head injuries.

The British solicitor had defended an opposing party in civil litigation against builder Michael Chudley, who lost both the case he had brought against Ward’s client and a counterclaim brought by the attorney on his client’s behalf, prosecutor William Mousley told the jury in the Salisbury Crown Court case on Wednesday.

Chudley, now 63, allegedly admitted to shooting Ward when he was arrested a short time afterward at his former home, which had been repossessed. However, he subsequently denied the crime, the Daily Express reports.

“This killing was simply revenge, rooted in anger and resentment and not as a result of mental illness or malfunction, so there is no lesser responsibility for this killing,” Mousley told the jury. Chudley, he said, told police when he was arrested: “I shot him because he made our lives a misery.”

Chudley faces charges including murder, possession of a sawed-off shotgun and threatening to kill the law firm’s receptionist, which he denies.

The defense apparently has not yet presented its case at this time.

See also

ABAJournal.com: “UK Solicitor Shot at Desk in Law Office Is In Critical Condition”

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