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Wife's lover acquitted of killing husband

A Manatee County jury deliberated 7{ hours Friday before acquitting first-degree murder defendant Mike Cordes, the man accused of gunning down his lover's husband outside a Duette convenience store.

Cordes, 36, who faced a possible death sentence had he been convicted, won't be going home soon, however. Prosecutors kept him behind bars for a 1997 parole violation charge. He faces up to seven years in prison.

During the weeklong trial, defense attorney Adam Tebrugge had argued that Cordes' friend, Todd Martin, was the shooter.

In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Martin earlier accepted a 12-year sentence for being an accessory to murder in exchange for his testimony, which helped convict Jackie Postma, 31, of second-degree murder last week. She could get 25 years to life at sentencing.

Martin testified that he was in on a plot to lure Ed Postma to the Duette store Aug. 20 with a late-night phone call from Jackie saying she had a flat tire. There, he testified, he thought Cordes planned to have a fight with Ed. He said he was stunned when Cordes instead shot the victim four times in the head. He also said that, in fear for his life, he obeyed Cordes' order to cut Postma's throat.

But in Cordes' trial, Tebrugge pointed to a lack of physical evidence and Cordes' statement that he was drunk and asleep in his truck when the shooting occurred.

"We're profoundly disappointed with the (jury's) decision," prosecutor Art Brown told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after the verdict. Jurors did not comment.

"God will deal with (Cordes) now," said a grief-stricken Karla Postma, Ed Postma's mother.

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