Third paragraph from the end reads: "Josh Mobley, Caleb's older brother, was critical of jurors for deliberating a short time, calling their efforts 'half-hearted.' Elaine Brown, Bryan Mobley's sister, said he was 'in a fog' because of medication and didn't know what he was doing."
Jury: Mobley tried to murder ex-wife
Family takes issue with verdict
By MARK CAUDILL • News Journal • January 21, 2010
MANSFIELD — Sentencing is set for 1 p.m. today after a jury convicted Bryan Mobley on Wednesday of attempted aggravated murder with a gun specification.
Mobley, 46, of 604 Fairoaks Blvd., could receive up to 31 years in prison for shooting his ex-wife.
Mobley forced his way into the Piper Road apartment of Deb Tolley on June 18 and shot her once in the abdomen. He reportedly was distraught over the couple's divorce.
"I'm convinced this fellow had some kind of psychological break," defense attorney Charles Brown said. "The psychologist said he had a strong depression. Were it not for that depression, this crime almost certainly would not have happened."
Richland County Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch-Page had a different opinion. She confronted Mobley in an explosive cross-examination.
"Your intention was to buy a gun to kill your ex-wife, wasn't it?" Couch-Page asked.
Mobley replied, "It had to have been one of the intentions."
After deliberating for 35 minutes, a six-man, six-woman jury agreed, convicting Mobley of the most serious charge, along with aggravated burglary and discharging a firearm into a habitation. The jury found Mobley not guilty of kidnapping.
Couch-Page said the defendant did himself no favors on the witness stand.
"He was not sympathetic," she said. "He showed he wanted to control everything around him.
"I think he showed his true colors."
Mobley went to Tolley's residence five months after their divorce. He had bought a handgun at Fin-Feather-Fur Outfitters in Ashland the same day. Couch-Page asked him about still being angry after that much time had passed.
"Anger is one of the emotions that hurt would spawn," Mobley said.
The defendant also admitted being upset that Tolley took back her maiden name.
"Not only are you disowning me, you're trying to distance yourself from your children," he said on the witness stand. "Why would you change your name?"
Mobley knocked on Tolley's door, then fired five shots into it. Couch-Page asked him about firing through the door without knowing if someone was on the other side.
"My thought process is fuzzy," Mobley said of the incident. "I'm at the point of exploding."
Couch-Page asked Mobley if he called Tolley "a whore who tore our family apart."
Mobley replied, "Details are fuzzy. That very well could have been said."
The defendant became visibly upset when Couch-Page asked him about his actions after the shooting. Mobley took Tolley to his car and headed south on Ohio 545. He maintains he was taking her to the hospital. Couch-Page wanted to know why he still had the handgun.
Mobley yelled his response.
"I could care less where the gun was," he said. "I had no concern about that gun after that first shot was fired. I gave no thought to the gun."
In her closing argument, Couch-Page told the jury to remember how angry Mobley had gotten at her.
About two dozen of Mobley's supporters filled one side of the courtroom. The loved ones included the couple's three adult children, who all testified on their father's behalf.
Tolley was not present for the verdict. Her family declined comment.
Outside the courtroom, Mobley's family defend- ed him.
"He could have killed her with his bare hands," said Bill Mobley, his bro-ther. "There was seven shots (left) in the gun. The gun was for himself."
Caleb Mobley, 20, is Bryan Mobley's youngest child. He said he was living with his father at the time of the shooting.
"I honestly think I know him better than anybody. It was totally out of character for him," the Ashland University sophomore said. "He would never harm anyone, let alone his own family."
Josh Mobley, Caleb's older brother, was critical of jurors for deliberating a short time, calling their efforts "half-hearted." Elaine Brown, Bryan Mobley's sister, said he was "in a fog" because of medication and didn't know what he was doing.
Bill Mobley termed the incident a tragedy.
"He's done the right things all of his life," he said of his brother. "One big mistake and he's going to be locked up like a dog the rest of his life."