``When he drew that knife across Mr. Rokos' neck, there was killing in his mind,'' Reilly told the jury. Cape tackled Rokos as he and his wife returned to their Wallingford after church. The gash ``miraculously'' missed any vital blood vessels, a doctor testified.
Cape testified that when he saw blood, he realized, ``My God, I cut him.''
Defense attorney Mark Much called the jury's verdict ``bittersweet. I'm thankful they didn't convict him of attempted homicide. I'm disappointed that they found him guilty of attempting to cause serious bodily injury.''
Much had argued that it was a case of simple assault. ``The whole case is kind of sad,'' Much said. ``You have young kids in love, with a child together,'' and dissension between the families, he said.
Much presented witnesses who described Cape as honest and hardworking. His fiancee had testified that her parents did not approve of the relationship. After she called off the wedding because her parents refused to attend, she testified, Cape became distraught.
About 25 of Cape's friends and relatives packed the courtroom to hear the verdict that the jury delivered after two hours. James Rokos said he and his wife, Ann Marie, stayed away from the courtroom for safety reasons. He later said he believed the verdict was fair. ``Whenever there were problems between him and my daughter, he blamed us. It came to a head on May 2,'' he said.
Rokos, a psychologist, said, ``I knew he needed treatment. He refused to see he was having any psychological problems.''
Reilly said he would seek a long prison sentence, saying, ``This is a completely unprovoked assault on a defenseless man that came millimeters from taking his life.''
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15 before Delaware County Judge Patricia H. Jenkins. The maximum sentence is 20 years, but guidelines call for a minimum of 40 to 54 months. Cape remains in jail after failing to post $250,000 cash bail.