Colonel Ralph Wald Murder Trial

TAMPA – A retired U.S. Army colonel and Vietnam veteran is expected to take the stand on Thursday to describe the night he killed his wife’s lover while the two were “fornicating” in his living room.

Col. Ralph Wald, 71, is charged with 2nd degree murder after shooting Walter Conley, 32, on the night of March 10, 2013.

The case centers on Wald’s state of mind when he pulled the trigger.

Defense attorney Joe Episcopo told jurors that Wald acted in self-defense.  He found a strange man in his living room, having sex with his wife, Johnna Flores, who repeatedly denied her husband’s requests to consummate their marriage, claiming she feared intercourse after childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather.

Additionally, Wald suffers from erectile dysfunction.  The two planned to seek counseling together after their marriage in October 2012.

“To this day, his marriage has not been consummated because of these problems,” Episcopo said.

Because of their non-existent sex life, Episcopo argues that his client believed Flores was incapable of having sex, much less an affair.

He thought an intruder was raping his wife, and Episcopo says, his Army training left him with one option:  Kill or be killed.