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Murrumbateman woman Dale Vella found guilty of murdering her husband as he slept

The NSW Supreme Court found Dale Vella guilty of murdering her husband in their Murrumbateman home in 2021. (ABC News: Adriane Reardon)

Murrumbateman woman Dale Vella has been found guilty of the murder of her husband as he slept in their bed in August last year.

WARNING: This story contains content that may be distressing to some readers.

Mark Vella was shot through the eye at close range, in August 2021.

Vella, 54, had wanted the jury to find her guilty only of manslaughter.

She gave an account to the New South Wales Supreme Court of a domineering and difficult man, who had caused the family to be financially stretched throughout their marriage.

Vella told the court she had planned to kill herself, placing a loaded gun beside the bed.

She said she did not remember shooting her husband, only recalling the cold air as she was led out in handcuffs and hearing her daughter say "mummy".

When quizzed about why she had done it she said several times, "I loved my husband."

The court also viewed a video she made for her children in which she apologised and said she couldn't go on.

Her lawyer Greg Hoare told the jury she was clearly not pretending to be in despair.

Mr Hoare also pointed to reports by doctors that she did suffer depression, and urged the jury not to accept the prosecution case which he said suggested a planned execution.

But prosecutor Kate Ratcliffe urged the jury to take the emotion out of their deliberations, saying even if she regretted it later she had shot him to remove him from the family.

The court heard Vella later told her daughter "he can't hurt us anymore" and "I shot him."

The court heard the couple had suffered after their three-year-old daughter died of a brain tumour, and later Vella developed breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy.

Judge Helen Wilson told the jury they did not have to decide if Mr Vella was a good husband or not.

She said they would have to decide if Vella had a mental impairment so significant she should have her charge of murder reduced to manslaughter.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before returning a verdict of murder.

Vella will be sentenced in July.

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