LEE CO., GA (WALB) - A jury has convicted Yathomas Riley on all counts including malice murder and felony murder. He was sentenced to life without parole, with an additional 40 years.
Yathomas Riley's legal trouble dates back well before his wife's death. After looking further, it found that Riley was involved in an eerily similar situation in Florida.
Yathomas Riley's long legal battle including stints in and out of jail for the last six years ended tonight in Lee County with a murder conviction.
That sentence making his freedom look all but gone.
Riley's issues with his wife came to a head on July 10, when a 911 call would eventually bring deputies to his house.
He claimed that day that his wife Lisa, an ER doctor, killed herself. Investigators never bought the story.
Riley's issues with his wife predated her untimely death in 2015.
Just one month earlier, Lisa called deputies to her home, claiming her husband held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her.
Prosecutors say the call detailed the gruesome way she would be killed just one month later.
Yathomas Riley's legal trouble in Lee County mirrors a situation in Florida.
His ex-girlfriend at the time was shot three times and nearly died. Riley claims she shot herself, but she told investigators that he did it after coming out of a coma.
Lack of evidence and cooperation eventually led to the charges being dropped.
The this stiff sentence from Judge James Sizemore made Riley's days as a free man appear over.
The state said in closing arguments on Friday that Yathomas Riley killed his wife Lisa on July 9 while she was on her knees.
The prosecutor compared their circumstantial evidence to the strands of a rope; a series of small threads that adds up to something strong.
Prosecutors retraced some of the evidence they presented.
The defense started their statements, and Riley passed a note to his lawyer.
The defense stated there was no direct evidence and offered their hypothesis on what could have happened.
They offered four theories:
- That Lisa Riley committed suicide
- That she committed suicide while Riley was home and he was afraid to report it
- If he did it, he did it without malice aforethought
- If he did it, he did it because of a brain damage disease that boxers can get
They went on to say "Her opinion was that he was having a psychotic break."
Riley's lawyer outlines the brain damage disease, CTE, Riley could suffer from.
The defense walked through different portions of the evidence they felt created doubt, such as the gun shot distance and the lack of a blood splatter test for Riley.
The defense said that Riley checked video so often because he was jealous.
They also said a gunshot residue test failed.
Prosecutors had the opportunity to make a closing argument.
The trial so far: