A Bay Shore man was convicted Friday of second-degree murder in the August 2010 stabbing death of his estranged wife, prosecutors said.
It took the jury four days to convict Wesley Paul, 41, in the slaying of Monica Lisa Paul, 40, of Bay Shore, who Suffolk County prosecutors said died "of a fatal neck wound that severed her carotid artery and jugular vein."
The attack occurred after an argument about his visitation with the couple's then 6-year-old son, prosecutors said. During the struggle Monica Paul bit off part of Wesley Paul's nose, prosecutors said, and Wesley Paul "retrieved a knife from the kitchen and attacked his wife while she was taking a shower."
Monica Paul bled to death in her bathtub, a deputy medical examiner testified during the trial in State Supreme Court.
No one disputes that Wesley Paul stabbed his estranged wife. The disagreement at the trial before Justice William Condon was over why he did it.
Paul was charged with second-degree murder, but defense attorney Ira Weissman of Central Islip asked the jury to find that he acted during an extreme emotional disturbance and instead convict him of first-degree manslaughter.
"This was a marriage that went bad," Weissman said. Three months before he killed his wife, Wesley Paul moved out after finding out she was seeing other men. Then they battled over access to their son.
He had been playing with the boy outside her apartment when he came in to talk to her about seeing his son more often.
"She emphatically says no," Weissman said. "He snaps."
Assistant District Attorney Dana Brown said it was simpler than that. "We believe the evidence has shown this is an intentional murder, and nothing less," she said.
After the argument, Wesley Paul went to the kitchen, got a knife and stabbed his wife four times while she was in the shower. Then he called police.
Ultimately, the jury rejected the extreme emotional disturbance defense and opted to convict Wesley Paul of second-degree murder and not first-degree manslaughter.
With Andrew Smith