A Fairfax County Circuit Court jury yesterday convicted a Haymarket, Va., man of second degree murder in the shooting death of his former girlfriend's companion and recommended prison sentences totaling 32 years in connection with the incident.
The jury deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours before finding Raymond Thomas Ball, 33, guilty of fatally shooting Leon Francis Moore, also 33, of Vienna in a confrontation last summer at an Annandale house rented by the woman, Leslie McCain, 22.
Ball also was convicted on a charge of malicious wounding for shooting McCain. The jury recommended 15-year prison terms on the murder and malicious wounding counts and a two-year term on a separate firearms charge.
Ball testified during the two-day trial that he shot both Moore and McCain in self-defense. He said he was talking to McCain early on the morning of July 15 when Moore came down the stairs wearing a stocking mask and waving a handgun. A scuffle followed and Moore shot Ball in the shoulder, according to testimony.
Ball, who had been dating McCain off and on for about five years, grabbed the gun from Moore and shot him in the head, then turned and fired at McCain, wounding her in the spine and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down, according to testimony.
McCain, who testified from her wheelchair in the courtroom, said Moore had hit his head in the fight after firing the gun and appeared to be unconscious when Ball leaned over him and shot him in the head.
"Tommy Ball simply could have walked away," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Corinne J. Magee during closing arguments. "There is no danger to Tommy at that point." Magee said the shooting could not be considered self-defense and that Ball apparantly shot Moore out of revenge for firing the initial shot. She added that Ball seemed to be jealous of Moore, who had begun dating McCain about a month before the shooting.
Ball was convicted earlier this month in Fairfax County Circuit Court of conspiracy to manufacture PCP and is awaiting sentencing on a jury's recommended eight-year prison term.
Circuit Court Judge F. Bruce Bach set sentencing on yesterday's verdict for Oct. 14.