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Cedar City man found guilty of double aggravated murder

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Thad Robertson

Thad Robertson

Iron County Jail

CEDAR CITY — A Cedar City man was found guilty of two counts of aggravated murder for the shooting deaths of two people in his home.

After less than three hours of jury deliberations, Thad Douglas Robertson, 59, was found guilty Thursday of two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, in the deaths of Jeffery Hardy, 52, and Diann Bailey, 59.

Robertson faces sentences of either life in prison without parole or 25 years to life for each of the two charges.

While Robertson's attorneys argued he accidentally shot Bailey and then shot Hardy in self-defense, jurors agreed with prosecutors that Robertson killed the two out of jealousy because he believed they were having an affair.

"(Robertson) came to the house and Jeff arrived at about the same time," said Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett. "The defendant said that's kind of what got it started, this strange guy inviting himself into his own house."

Robertson left for a while, then returned to find Bailey and Hardy talking in the living room.

"They changed the subject and that bothered him," Garrett said. "He went and got the gun and brought it out, he held it up to Diann and asked, 'How long has this been going on?' It was kind of this jealous, he thinks they were having an affair-type situation."

Though Robertson had initially said he didn't know Hardy, it was discovered the two had been friends, Garrett said.

Police said Robertson called his daughter in California on Feb. 15, 2013, after shooting both Hardy and Bailey, telling the woman "that he was suicidal and he had done something stupid and could not go to prison," charging documents state.

He then told his daughter he had used a gun "as a scare tactic" and had shot at least one person and possibly two, according to the charges.

Robertson's daughter called police, who rushed to his Cedar City home, 386 N. 400 West, finding Robertson waiting outside. Robertson told police one person inside had been shot and the second was likely armed with a handgun.

When a SWAT team evacuated neighboring homes and entered Robertson's home, they found Hardy dead and Bailey in critical condition. Bailey died Feb. 19, 2013.

"It was a high-stress, high-tension situation," Garrett said Thursday. "It's nice to get (the trial) done. It's nice for the families of the victims. They're pleased and happy with the verdict."

Neighbors said Robertson and Bailey were dating. Bailey filed for a protective order against him claiming cohabitant abuse in 2007, according to Utah state court records. The case was dismissed at the woman's request a couple of weeks later.

In her obituary, family members said Bailey, a mother of three, loved Utah history and antiques. Hardy was described in his obituary as a "gentle, kindhearted soul" who made friends wherever he went.

Robertson was also found guilty Thursday of possession or use of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 7.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero