A jury in Iowa County today found a 39-year-old Blairstown man guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting death of a woman in 2009. Tonch Weldon’s attorneys had argued it was a “crime of passion.”
They said Weldon fatally shot 35-year-old Amy Gephart “without premeditation” after learning from his wife that she and Gephart planned to leave him. Tonch Weldon’s attorneys asked jurors to consider a verdict of voluntary manslaughter.
Amanda Weldon testified during the trial that she and her husband had an open marriage and Gephart lived with them. She said Tonch shot Gephart once with a 20-gauge shotgun and then tried to shoot himself. The jury spent nearly five full days in deliberation before finding Weldon guilty of first-degree murder. He now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Sentencing is set for August 15 at 1 p.m. in Iowa County.