Jane Laut has been found guilty of the murder of her husband Dave Laut, an Olympic bronze medallist ©Ventura County Sheriff's Department

The wife of David Laut, the 1984 Olympic shot put bronze medallist, has been found guilty in California of murdering him and could face up to 50 years in prison.

Jane Laut, 58, was was convicted of the first-degree murder of her husband in Ventura County.

The Lauts were married for 29 years before he was shot to death in a yard of their Oxnard home shortly before midnight on August 27 in 2009.

He was 53 at the time of his death. 

Jane Laut's family claimed she acted following several years of domestic abuse.

“We thought they [the jurors] understood the domestic abuse part," Emily Penza, Laut's niece, told the Associated Press

"She’s been through enough."

David Laut, who also won the Pan American gold medal at San Juan in 1979 and was a four-time United States champion, was athletic director at Hueneme High School at the time of his death.

During the trial, Jane Laut claimed to have injected her husband with anabolic steroids on at least one occasion in the months leading up to Los Angeles 1984. 

Image title
Dave Laut won an Olympic bronze medal in the shot at Los Angeles 1984 ©Getty Images

Laut’s defence claimed she had been battered and abused during the marriage and that on the night of the killing, her husband slammed her head against the wall and threatened her and their 10-year-old son Michael with a revolver

Laut testified that her husband was shot as the couple struggled for the gun.

“He was trying to get up on his knees when she starts firing," her attorney Ron Bamieh told jurors.

"There was no aiming, no looking.

"If he gets up, she is done and Michael is done.

"He kept coming and he would not stop.”

The prosecution said David Laut was shot six times, including in the back of the head and that Jane Laut would have had to cock the single-action gun before each shot.

The prosecution also claimed that Laut lied to police about the shooting and stood to gain $300,000 (£200,000/€260,000) from her husband’s insurance.