MANATEE -- The District Court of Appeals has affirmed the murder conviction for former Bradenton Police captain Thomas in his wife's death.
Fleming, 71, was convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm Dec. 11, 2013, for shooting his wife, Claire Fleming, to death in their Bradenton home Oct. 1, 2012. Thomas admitted to the shooting immediately after and later in court.
On Dec. 26, 2013, a judge sentenced him to life in prison.
Fleming's defense had appealed his conviction and requested a new trial because of the exclusion of evidence at trial on his mental and emotional state.
At trial, Circuit Judge Thomas Krug had ruled that evidence of depression or post-traumatic distress disorder was irrelevant since Fleming was not using a insanity defense. The heat-of-passion defense had to be proven based on how a reasonable person would react.
The state argued it didn't exclude the evidence in error because Fleming did not use an insanity defense nor did his defense use any experts at trial to prove mental illness.
On Dec. 9, nine days after hearing oral arguments in the case, the Second District Court of Appeals affirmed the murder conviction finding there were no errors made by the circuit court.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.