The Associated Press
PORTSMOUTH - A former college psychiatry professor was found guilty in the shooting death of the city's development director.
John M. Adams, 60, of Barboursville, W.Va., was sentenced to at least 26 years in prison after being convicted Tuesday of murder with a firearm specification, aggravated burglary and kidnapping in the July 2, 2003 slaying of Bobby Burns.
Adams' attorney, Jim Banks of Columbus, said he plans to appeal.
During the trial, witnesses testified that Adams entered Burns' home and shot him as Burns' wife watched.
Authorities said Adams left the Burns home after the shooting, drove his car a short distance and abandoned it.
Adams then forced two women to drive him across the Ohio River to Kentucky, where he got out of their vehicle, authorities said. Adams kept police at bay for about 10 minutes by threatening to shoot himself.
Police interviewed Adams the day after the shooting and videotaped it. On the tape, which was shown during the trial, Adams said he had learned from a law firm that Burns and his wife, Michele Burns, had filed a malpractice complaint over his treatment of Michele.
Adams told detectives that he went to the house to talk with Bobby Burns about the malpractice complaint. He said he brought the gun "to make (Burns) listen."
Adams said he found Bobby and Michele Burns in a bathroom. He said Bobby Burns lunged at him when he opened the bathroom door.
"He scared me, that's why I fired the gun," he said on the tape.
Prosecutors dropped a death-penalty specification earlier, citing Adams' age and Parkinson's disease.
Adams was an associate professor of psychiatry at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. His contract with the university expired in June, 2003.
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