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FL Developer Who Murdered Wife Says He Overdosed on Pain Pills

Kevin Horan/Stone(ORLANDO, Fla) -- Bob Ward, the former millionaire developer who was convicted of murdering his wife, was under observation Sunday after he told jail officials he took an overdose of pain pills on Saturday -- just one day after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Ward told officers at the Orange County Jail in Florida that he had taken more than the recommended amount of ibuprofen.  He was under medical observation at an Orlando hospital Sunday morning, officials said.

Inmates at the jail are allowed to purchase over-the-counter pain medication, and a bottle of ibuprofen contains 20 tablets, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Orange County Corrections Department officials told ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando that the incident is not being considered a suicide attempt.

In September, a jury found Ward guilty of the Sept. 21, 2009, murder of his wife, Diane Ward, in the couple’s mansion in the exclusive Isleworth community.

On Friday, despite his two daughters’ tearful pleas for leniency, a Florida judge sentenced Ward to 30 years in prison.

Ward admitted shooting his wife, but during the trial his defense called the incident a tragic accident.  The defense said Diane Ward had a strong mix of alcohol and antidepressants in her system, and that she could have been suicidal.  His attorney said Ward was just trying to save his wife when she was killed.

Ward had also said he was trying to get the gun out of his wife’s hands when it went off.

But prosecutors argued that Ward murdered his wife in a fit of rage inside the couple’s home. She was killed just days before a scheduled deposition on a series of issues related to her husband’s bankrupt company.

The couple was reportedly deep in debt, and Ward apparently could not pay his $17,000 monthly mortgage.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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