Retrial leads to second conviction in killing of wife and stepchildren

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A jury has found David Lamar Anthony guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. 

This is the second time Anthony has been convicted of killing his wife and two stepchildren. The first trial was in 2002.

Anthony was sentenced to death in 2004, but the convictions were overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court in 2008. The court said that in the first trial the jury heard improper arguments about whether Anthony may have molested his stepdaughter.

As part of that ruling the court said Anthony was entitled to a new trial.

During the new trial prosecutors said Anthony's marriage to Donna Anthony was over and he stood to lose everything, so he killed her and her children, Danielle, 14, and Richard Romero, 12 in 2001.

The defense blamed the children's father, Sam Romero, for the murders.

Anthony's first conviction came while the victim's were still missing, but in 2005 their bodies were found buried in the desert near Buckeye. The bodies were stuffed in metal drums and covered with acid.

As for the new guilty verdict -- "I was surprised," said Anthony's defense attorney, Bill Little. "I respect the jury. I respect the hard work that they put in. We're very disappointed in the outcome."

When asked about the uniqueness of this trial Little said "As an attorney a case like this would be once in a lifetime." 

David Anthony, who was not in court for the verdict, is in poor health. He has a pacemaker and diabetes and a lot of significant health problems according to Little.

Little said Anthony was admitted to a hospital on Monday after complaining he had shortness of breath and chest pains.

The next phase of the trial, leading up to sentencing begins on Wednesday. Anthony could be given the death penalty again.

Anthony's attorney said Anthony still maintains his innocence.