DENTON A Carrollton man was sentenced to life inprison for hiring a hit man to kill his now ex-wife.
The decision came Thursday afternoon after Frank Howard was found guilty Tuesday by a jury who deliberated for two hours at a Denton courthouse.
Nancy Howard lost her eye when she was shot in the face outside her home in August of 2012. Mr. Howard was arrested less than two weeks later.
Prosecutors alleged Mr. Howard paid more than $1 million in an attempt to have his wife killed. Authorities said Mr. Howard said he was out of town on business in California at the time of the shooting, but traveled back to North Texas, where family said he sat with his wife by her side at Parkland Hospital.
Both Mr. Howard's former wife and mistress took the stand during the trial. Suzanne Leontieff, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, said she met Mr. Howard in 2009. She testified that among other generous gifts, Mr. Howard bought her a $900,000 home.
Mrs. Leontieff testified that Mr. Howard was 'worried about [his wife's] mental state, that she might hurt herself.'
Billie Johnson, the man authorities said Mr. Howard hired to kill his then wife, also took the stand. He said he was paid more than $1 million over about three years. Mr. Johnson's stepson was arrested for pulling the trigger the day Mrs. Howard was shot.