Jury finds retired Air Force major guilty of shooting ex-wife, father-in-law

Military veteran faces 25 years to life in state prison

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – A jury has found retired U.S. Air Force Major Thomas Maffei guilty of all the charges related to the 2012 shooting that left his estranged wife and her father seriously injured in Coral Springs.

Maffei was convicted of two counts of attempted first-degree murder, burglary of a dwelling, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling. 

Maffei served in Afghanistan and Iraq before he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and severe back pain. Dr. David Kramer, who did not treat Maffei, was his defense team's only witness.

Kramer said the high dosage of Oxycodone, combined with Maffei's "agitation, acute stress problems and his background -- mood, anxiety, post-traumatic stress problems combined, could very much affect his behavior."

Prosecutors said Maffei was seeking revenge when he shot at the apartment door three times. The shooting of Katherine Ranta Maffei and her father, Robert Ranta, Nov. 2, 2012, happened in the middle of a bitter divorce and a custody battle over their 4-year-old son.

Ranta, who was holding the little boy, was shot in the chest. 

"He put that firearm in his car and he went to her house with the absolute intention, absolute intention, to go in there and to kill her on that day," prosecutor Molly Maguire said during the trial.

Maffei was upset. He was taking the drugs he had been prescribed at the Veterans Affairs clinic in West Palm Beach. He had blamed Ranta for taking his collections stamps, coins and military memorabilia.

"I don't think he's gotten the help he needed," his attorney Fred Haddad said during the trial. "Obviously, they drugged him. Obviously, he couldn't have gotten the help he needed because he did this."

Maffei faces 25 years to life in state prison.

Correction: This story previously reported it was a murder case when in fact, it is an attempted-murder case. 

About the Authors: