CRESCO — Brian Allen Fullhart in 2018 told investigators he was a murderer hours after he killed his wife in a Cresco mobile home.

On Thursday, jurors agreed with him, finding the 35-year-old guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Zoanne “Zoe” Fullhart after less than two hours of deliberation.

He now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing will be at a later date.

Fullhart, who spent most of the trial looking down or staring into a corner of the courtroom, stood quietly as the verdict was announced in Howard County District Court.

Family members embraced upon hearing the decision.

Prosecutors said Fullhart shot his wife in the head as she knelt because he was angry.

Zoanne "Zoe" Fullhart

Zoanne "Zoe" Fullhart

“He’s angry at his wife. He thinks she’s leaving him,” Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown told jurors Thursday during closing arguments.

Authorities said Brian Fullhart made Zoanne “Zoe” Fullhart, 34, kneel and then put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger on the night of Feb. 28, 2018.

Trial began last week, and the issue before the jury was whether methamphetamine and mental illness prevented Brian Fullhart from being able to form the intent to kill.

Brown said testimony Brian Fullhart had threatened to kill his wife if she ever divorced him a week before the shooting — and later told her she was dead when she took off her wedding ring and placed it before him — showed he had malice and intended to kill his wife.

“He carried it out. ... When he got the opportunity to put a bullet in Zoe’s head, he did it. He carried out his threats,” Brown said.

During an interview with a DCI agent hours after the shooting, Brian Fullhart called himself a murderer, said he was going to hell and demonstrated how he fired the shot.

On the witness stand Wednesday, Fullhart said he wasn’t in his right mind at the time of the shooting and didn’t think before he pulled the trigger. But he admitted he intended to kill her and confirmed he still considers himself a murderer.

He also said he had been using meth with his friends, who were trying to get him to think his wife was cheating on him.

Defense attorney Matthew Hoffey said Fullhart was psychotic at the time of the shooting.

“There is no question Brian Fullhart is responsible for the death of Zoanne Fullhart. ... The real question is were Brian’s actions deliberate, willful, premeditated with the specific intent to kill?”

He said his client should be convicted of the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

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