Perthshire woman Joanna Findlay freed from US prison

A Scots woman convicted in the US for the attempted murder of her husband has been released from prison and returned to her home in Perthshire.

Joanna Findlay has been deported to the UK and is back in Blairgowrie afterhandgun charges against her were dropped.

The 42-year-old was found guilty of the second degree attempted murder of Gary Trogdon, who was found dead of a gunshot wound on October 30 2010 at the couple’s home in Hollywood, Maryland.

Jurors also found her guilty of a handgun violation and Circuit Judge Karen Abrams imposed the minimum sentence of five years without parole for use of a handgun in commission of a felony or violent crime.

She received an additional five years suspended sentence for the second degree attempted murder.

Ms Findlay was jailed on February 28 last year, but has now been freed from Jessup Women’s Prison after State’s Attorney Richard Fritz reopened the handgun charge and dismissed it.

He said: “It is in the interest of the people of the state of Maryland to have her leave and have this case finally put to rest.”

He revealed that Mr Trogdon’s family opposed the agreement, but said the charge could be dismissed at his discretion.

Judge Abrams advised Ms Findlay that this was not a declaration of her innocence and described it as “an unfortunate case”.

“The forces have combined appropriately to get you where you need to go,” she said.

Ms Findlay’s mother, Frieda, confirmed that her daughter, a former Dundee College and Aberdeen University student, had returned to Perthshire, but did not reveal where she was staying.

“She is back home,” she said.

Mrs Findlay, who is caring for her gravely ill husband Thomas, also said the family wished to be left alone to get on with their lives after the traumatic events of the last few years.

MP Pete Wishart said: “I am very pleased for the Findlay family that we have a resolution to this case and that Joanna is now back home in Blairgowrie. The past year has been a living nightmare for the Findlay family and the uncertainty over her future has been very difficult to deal with.

“I have been making repeatedrepresentations on behalf of the Findlayfamily for the past year, working closely with the Foreign Office on this case.

“It would seem that the prosecuting authorities in Maryland suddenly decided to deport Joanna on condition that she drops the appeal on her conviction.”

The case first hit the headlines in 2010 when Ms Findlay, who was a lecturer at the University of Maryland, was charged with the second-degree murder of her husband.

She maintained her innocence throughout and, during pretrial proceedings, claimed that Mr Trogdon had committed suicide after she discovered indecent child images on his computer.