WASHINGTON, Iowa –A Washington County jury found Former Johnson County Emergency Management coordinator Thomas Hansen guilty Friday of second-degree murder.
Hansen was originally charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his girl friend Sharon Gerot May 1, 2011 in Riverside.
Second degree murder carries a penalty of 50 years in prison. Hansen is 72 and would be 107 before he is eligible for release. Sentencing has been set for February 1. His attorneys say the will appeal the verdict.
Washington County Attorney Larry Brock said he was pleased with the verdict, although he still felt it was a first-degree murder case.
Hansen testified during trial that Gerot abused him and he was just trying to scare her when he fired a shot at her while she was mowing their lawn. Gerot died of a single gunshot to the head.