The woman dubbed the widow of Walcha faces life behind bars for the "cold and callous" murder of Mathew Dunbar almost four years ago.
Natasha Beth Darcy was found guilty on Tuesday morning by a jury of 11 men and women of killing her partner almost four years ago, in order to inherit his multi-million dollar estate.
The murder - labelled cold and callous by the Crown in its case - saw her googling and trawling the internet on how to commit murder, and get rid of the evidence in the five months before she killed him.
The 46-year-old is behind bars - a place she has been since her arrest in Walcha in November 2017 - and will learn her fate in October, after the verdict was handed down in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney.
The jury took less than three days to reach its guilty verdict, finding she sedated the sheep grazier on a cocktail of drugs and animal sedatives, before gassing him in his bed on his Pandora property on the outskirts of Walcha.
The jury sent a note to the court only an hour and 20 minutes after resuming their deliberations on Tuesday to say they had reached their verdict.
When the floorperson read out 'guilty', Justice Julia Lonergan thanked the jury of 11 for their "care and consideration" that they had shown during the "difficult" trial, and the "many, many days that you have sacrificed" listening to the evidence.
The web of lies Darcy used to try and cover her tracks was exposed in the police investigation in a series of interviews with officers, and witness accounts from his friends, doctors and even family - all detailed and played out in court during the 10-week murder trial.
A three-month painstaking investigation - led by officer-in-charge Oxley Senior Constable Graham Goodwin - saw the puzzle of her planned hit unravel.
The jury accepted the Crown's case that Darcy had the "motive" and ultimately the means to kill Mr Dunbar, exploiting his generosity in order to inherit the $4.6 million Pandora farm.
DARCY HAD FORM
And the trial heard Darcy had form for violence against her partners.
The jury was told, in agreed facts, that her estranged husband and Walcha paramedic Colin Crossman had been her victim in 2009.
She hit him on the head with a hammer when he was sleeping, and then later sedated him and poured petrol in the room to burn down the house where he was sleeping. He woke up and survived.
The Crown detailed the incident, claiming it was in order to inherit his $700,000 life insurance, and she had a "tendency to sedate and inflict serious harm on her domestic partners for financial gain".
Darcy is still legally married to Mr Crossman, who was also the first paramedic on scene after Darcy's triple zero call on the night of August 2, when Mr Dunbar died.
Crown prosecutor Brett Hatfield told the jury Darcy was "setting the scene" and "spreading information or a false trail" to friends, exaggerating his depression for "a staged suicide".
Darcy had pleaded guilty to assisted suicide at the opening of her trial - something rejected by the Crown. At the end of the trial, Justice Lonergan told the jury "assisted suicide should be put out of your mind entirely" after no evidence was offered by the defence in its case.
Mr Hatfield said the Crown's argument was "this was a case of a murder, rather than suicide", because this "emanated from the accused, and she lied about it, we say repeatedly".
MURDER SHE GOOGLED
He pointed to searches on an iPhone on syncing and retrieving deleted information from Apple devices, including one that read 'the police retrieve deleted Facebook messages on phone'; and said in early August 2017, Darcy was "researching and preparing her answers for the police the next day".
The Crown submitted the jury was open to find some of her answers in a police interview might be "false or manufactured evidence".
He said Darcy's phone was seized by police in August 2017 and "before the toxicology [results] was in she looked them up".
Mr Hatfield said police discovered the Acepromazine in the gastric contents of Mr Dunbar on August 24, 2017, but did not notify Darcy until November. He claimed there was evidence of Darcy searching for the drug on August 9.
Mr Hatfield told the jury this was "indicative of her knowledge" of the drugs "because she administered [them] to him".
He said the "lengths that the accused go to and the specificity of the searches ... to research and investigate those matters" was "not explained" by mere curiosity or desire to address rumours around town.
The Crown maintained there was "no evidence of any communication between the deceased or the accused" on any methods of suicide; and a lack of any evidence of any searches made by anyone else other than the accused.
The jury saw Tamworth council's CCTV footage which captured Darcy alone at a cafe in Tamworth's Peel Street, watching videos of a suicide method.
MOTIVE TO KILL
Mr Hatfield submitted to the jury that "she pursued the deceased online" and she stood to gain financially substantially ... she had the motive."
He said toxicology results showed none of Mr Dunbar's usual medication was found in his gastric contents, but rather he said the jury was open to find "the accused gave the cocktail of drugs" to Mr Dunbar.
"It's consistent with the searches on the phone," he said.
Mr Hatfield pointed to an old high school friend who supported Darcy after the death. He claimed Darcy wrote two letters to her which "seek to direct [the friend] to lie and give a version that will explain those matters" of depression and suicide at the murder trial.
He said the woman was "shocked" after receiving the letters, which offered her $20,000.
He claimed Darcy "offered to give [the friend] as much as you need if she would lie for her in her murder trial", and this was "not only brazen, but persistent".
Mr Hatfield said the evidence from Dr Clive Stanton - the only psychiatrist who gave evidence in the trial that had spoken to Mr Dunbar - found the deceased was a "vulnerable and isolated man in a relationship that was particularly exploitative".
Defence barrister Janet Manuell SC had acknowledged Darcy "told a lot of lies".
"Ms Darcy has made things worse and worse for herself by the repeated lies she has told," she said in her closing.
But she contended that the jury could not rule out that Mr Dunbar "was an active and knowing participant" in the purchase of the helium bottle" that was used in his death; had a history of depression and suicidal ideations; struggled to come to terms with the suicide of a close friend; had a confused sexuality, eventually pointing to 12 reasons in her closing address.
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