After deliberating for more than a day, a jury convicted a Whatcom County woman Friday, March 4, of second-degree murder for fatally shooting her boyfriend inside their home near Everson last year.
A sentencing date for Lynda R. Holman, 47, has not been set.
The jury began its deliberations Wednesday afternoon after a week of testimony and arguments before Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder.
Jurors were tasked to determine if Holman intentionally shot Mark G. McCollum, 48, with a shotgun the night of Feb. 15, 2010, inside their home in the 5900 block of Lawrence Road.
Holman's attorney argued at trial that the shooting was an accident.
Shortly after noon on Friday, the jury returned with its verdict: guilty as charged.
Holman had pleaded guilty to a second charge, unlawfully possessing a firearm, before her trial began.
She was convicted of robbery and manslaughter in Skagit County in 1995 and is barred from owning or possessing guns, according to court records.
Holman, who sobbed at times throughout the trial, was solemn as Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies led her out of court after the verdict was read. She did not testify at trial.
Relatives of McCollum reacted with hugs and tears of happiness.
"Justice was served," said McCollum's brother, Scott McCollum. "She's a menace to society and she doesn't deserve to walk the streets."
He said the verdict was welcome news to his family.
"I knew deep down what happened," Scott McCollum said. "I knew we were right. It's just a huge relief - a huge relief for the whole family."
The main issue debated at trial was whether Holman's account of the shooting was believable.
Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran argued at trial that Holman shot McCollum because of troubles they were having.
They dated for about a decade, but the relationship turned rocky in the months preceding McCollum's death, McEachran said.
Holman told detectives that the gun accidentally fired as she was attempting to put it back on its rack, striking McCollum in the right side of his chest. She said she was standing to his left side.
McEachran called her account physically impossible. He argued that she was actually standing in the doorway to the bedroom - putting her slightly to McCollum's right - and that he was sitting upright when she shot him.