Criminal Justice

Man convicted of trying to kill ex-wife's divorce lawyer

A Virginia man has been found guilty of trying to kill his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer.

Mark M. Lowe, 42, was convicted Tuesday on five charges, including attempted murder, abduction, unlawfully shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of felonious use of a firearm, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

The jury, which deliberated for more than six hours, acquitted Lowe of maliciously shooting into an occupied building, which it reduced to the unlawful shooting charge.

The shooting took place in June 2012 in the parking lot of the Chesterfield, Va., firm of Barnes & Diehl after Lowe received word of an unfavorable custody ruling involving his daughter.

The computer security analyst was accused of firing once at his ex-wife’s lawyer, then forcing an administrative assistant to walk down a hallway at gunpoint to search for the lawyer.

David G. DeFazio, the gunman’s intended target, said later he never expected to be shot at.

“I’ve certainly had heated, cussing disputes and certainly thought people were dangerous before, but I never really had any credible worries,” he told the Times-Dispatch. “I certainly didn’t expect this.”

Lowe was disarmed and arrested by two police officers as he left the building, including an off-duty state capitol police officer who happened to be driving by when he saw employees fleeing the building in panic.

Lowe claimed he was the victim of an elaborate blackmailing scheme involving Muslim extremists.

After his conviction, the jury deliberated another 45 minutes before recommending Lowe be sentenced to 12 years and 1 month in prison.

Lowe will be sentenced Dec. 3.

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