Donald Allen Noble, 53, Kamas, was convicted of criminal homicide Friday for the murder of his wife, Nadalee.
"There's not enough punishment for such an unforgivable, rotten crime," said Amy Cowley, who testified against her stepfather during the three-day trial.A six-man, two-woman jury deliberated one hour 35 minutes before returning a verdict for the crime, a first-degree felony punishable by a five-year to life sentence.
Third District Judge John A. Rokich set a sentencing hearing for July 31.
Defense Attorney Elliott Levine argued that Noble deserved a reduced sentence of manslaughter because he was not coherent and committed the crime under extreme emotional duress.
"It was a tough case," Levine said. "It was real hard for anybody to believe that if he went there with a gun that he went there for any other reason than to kill his wife."
Nadalee Noble, 42, was shot twice in the head at 5:20 p.m. Feb. 27 in the parking lot of the Park City Albertson's store. They had been married 23 years and had four children. Cowley is Noble's stepdaughter from Nadalee Noble's previous marriage.
Noble, dressed in blue jeans, a western shirt and cowboy boots throughout the trial, accepted the verdict with a straight face but broke into tears as he hugged his oldest daughter and his sisters.
In testimony earlier Friday, Noble said he doesn't remember shooting his wife. The couple had been separated since Nadalee Noble moved into the Salt Lake YWCA shelter for battered women.
Noble was served divorce papers at 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 27. He said he was distraught because his wife's divorce complaint demanded child support, the family home and custody of their four children.
He said he felt his world was crumbling when he contemplated losing his children, and he said it wasn't what he and his wife had agreed upon.
Armed with a handgun, Noble said he drove 90 mph to where his wife was working in Park City.
"I was going to use the gun for fear and intimidation. I was going to use the gun for control. I wanted her to stop doing this to us," he told the jury.
Noble said he saw his wife enter the grocery store and he waited outside. When she came out, he said, he put his arm around her left shoulder.
"The thing that was in my mind going around was the things about the divorce," he said. He said he doesn't remember shooting the gun. He testified that the next thing he remembers was finding himself on the floor of a building and being restrained by a big man. He said he later learned that it was a Park City police officer at the police department.
"The next morning I woke up and and I had this orange suit on. I turned the TV on. It was the "Today Show," and the local news came on and it said Nadalee Noble had been shot and her estranged husband was in custody. It kind of stunned me more than anything. I knew something had happened because I wouldn't have been in jail."
Dr. Breck Lebeque, a University of Utah associate clinical professor of psychiatry, said Noble suffers from a certain kind of mental illness.
"He's a very unusual, odd and eccentric person," Lebeque said. He said Noble was feeling rage, fear and confusion at the time of the shooting to a degree greater than usual. Noble is a withdrawn, isolated and shy person who suffers paranoia and is especially afraid of abandonment, the psychiatrist said.
Assistant Summit County Attorney Terry Christiansen said justice was done by the jury's decision. He said he hopes people will understand from the verdict that guns should not be used to solve domestic disputes and that courts are a better avenue.