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Florida paramedic found guilty in girlfriend’s 2016 death

February 19, 2021 GMT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A paramedic who tried to frame the 2016 death of his girlfriend as a suicide has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

Jurors deliberated for eight hours over two days before reaching the verdict, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Prosecutors said Thomas Elmore Jr., 48, shot Tamara Naish in their home near Tampa in September 2016, then let her body sit “at least 36 hours” before alerting deputies.

Elmore told deputies at the time that was distraught that his girlfriend committed suicide, which is why he waited so long to contact them, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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The medical examiner’s office determined that it would have been impossible for Naish to have shot herself, prosecutors said. One of the two bullet wounds was to her hand, which likely happened as she protected her face, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors also said the the gun used in the shooting had been placed in Naish’s left hand, even though she was right-handed.

Deputies searching the home said the body appeared to have been moved and manipulated, prosecutors said. Then the medical examiner’s officer reported the death as a homicide, not a suicide.

“This delivers justice for Tamara Naish and her family,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement. “As a nurse, she dedicated her career to helping others. Her life was taken so heartlessly, and now the man who did it — and lied about it — will pay for it.”

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.