James Brady, 62, of Lakeland.

JURY VERDICT: Lakeland man shoots wife, found guilty of attempted murder

Sherry Brady heard a loud bang and looked down to see her blood everywhere – her husband of nearly 10 years had fired a shotgun at her.

James Brady, 62, of Lakeland.

James Brady was found guilty Thursday of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into a dwelling, tampering with a witness and domestic battery. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison, with the possibility of life.

He will be sentenced on May 4.

Sherry Brady spent two months in the hospital and had over 25 surgeries. She suffered extensive damage to her arm, resulting in a torn bicep and the inability to use her left hand.

Over 100 pellets are still embedded in her arm.

Assistant State Attorney Mattie Tondreault told jurors Tuesday that it started the evening of Sept. 5, 2015, when Sherry Brady went to pick her husband up from a family member’s cookout. He’d consumed half a bottle of bourbon and was heavily intoxicated.

Concerned for his well-being, Sherry Brady took her husband’s keys without him noticing and tried to take him home. When James Brady realized his keys were gone, he punched his wife in the jaw, pulled a sign out of the yard and beat on the windows of his truck in an attempt to gain entry.

Sherry Brady left him there and went home, where she immediately hid the 9mm firearm her husband kept underneath his pillow and the ammunition in case he came back to the house that night. It wasn’t long before he was at the doorstep, banging on the door.

He shoved past her, went into their bedroom and locked the door.

Sherry Brady was standing just outside their bedroom attempting to call family when her husband fired the shotgun through a wall at her. She immediately went outside to the front porch where others would be able to see her in case he tried to hurt her further.

“It’s all your fault,” James Brady yelled at his wife, leaving her on the porch in a puddle of her blood.

Realizing she was going into shock, Sherry Brady went back inside the house to grab a phone and call 911. While she had 911 on speaker, James Brady smashed both the house phone and her cell phone.

Fearful that law enforcement may not arrive, Sherry Brady went back inside, grabbed a belt and wrapped it around her arm to stop the bleeding. Her husband found his car keys in her purse and left.

When James Brady took the stand, he admitted to being angry at his wife for taking his keys. But the reason he grabbed the shotgun was not because of that anger, Brady claimed, it was because he wanted to kill himself.

Assistant State Attorney Mattie Tondreault addresses jurors in opening statements March 7. The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Brady guilty as charged.

“He intentionally raised the gun above the door handle … knowing she’s on the other side,” Tondreault said. “He could have stood anywhere in that bedroom to kill himself, could have pointed that gun in any other direction, but he didn’t.”

Brady also stated he accidentally fired the shotgun, and he “doesn’t know how it went off.”

Tondreault told jurors there was evidence to prove that it’s impossible for a shotgun to misfire.

“You need 6 pounds of a (trigger) pull,” Tondreault said, adding that the same force required to open a soda can is required to pull the trigger. “It wouldn’t go off by shaking it, dropping it or losing control of it. The shot (Brady) fired into the wall was a straight shot; it wasn’t angled. A straight shot is not an accident.”

“What did he have to say for it? ‘It’s all your fault,’” Tondreault said in closing statements. “What did he do? He left her there in a pool of her own blood. These were deliberate decisions.”