Wife Shot Husband 11 Times and Got Aquitted on the Grounds of Battered Woman Syndrome

But the jury had second thoughts after all. So she got 5 years for illegal possession of a weapon. No, it’s no joke. Wrote the N.Y.T. on October 13, 2011:

She said she had faced years of relentless abuse, including having boiling pasta sauce thrown at her, being locked out of the house in the cold in her pajamas, and having a phone smashed in her face when she tried to call 911. But the prosecution argued that Ms. Sheehan was a manipulative fabulist who had killed her husband to escape a sexless and dysfunctional marriage and then claimed she was abused to escape prison.

On the day of the killing in February 2008, Ms. Sheehan shot her husband five times with a pistol after he had been shaving in their Howard Beach home. Then, when he went to grab a second gun that had been sitting on the bathroom vanity, she said, she reached it first, and used it to shoot him six times. His body was found on the bathroom floor, the faucet still running.

After nearly three days of deliberations, a jury of nine women and three men on Thursday found Ms. Sheehan not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of possessing the second weapon. The reasoning, the jurors said, was that Mr. Sheehan was already very badly wounded and no longer posed a threat when Ms. Sheehan shot him with the second gun. Ms. Sheehan could face a sentence of 3 1/2 to 15 years.

The N.Y.T. of November 11, 2011:

Prosecutors had asked for a “substantial” sentence. Debra Pomodore, an assistant district attorney, told the judge that Ms. Sheehan had been “smug” throughout the trial and had shown “not one scintilla of remorse.”

“This was not a victimless crime,” she said.

Referring to the second gun Ms. Sheehan fired at her husband, Ms. Pomodore said, “She used that gun and fired it six times into a man lying on the bathroom floor who was disabled and not able to do anything but scream.”

The N.Y.T. of September 20, 2011:

Ms. Sheehan told the jury that on the day of the shooting, in February 2008, she took the loaded revolver that belonged to her husband from a bedroom, shoved money into her bra and tried to sneak out of the house after a fierce argument over the planned trip to Florida.

“I was so scared; I wanted to get away,” she said.

“I didn’t want him to hurt me or my kids anymore,” she added, sobbing quietly as the jury listened with rapt attention and members of Mr. Sheehan’s family in the courtroom stared ahead blankly.

Ms. Sheehan said that as she passed by the bathroom, Mr. Sheehan, who had been shaving, tried to stop her, grabbed a semiautomatic pistol that he had placed atop the bathroom vanity and aimed it at her head. It was then, she said, that she shot him. “I just shot it because he was aiming the big gun at me,” she said. “I was so scared. I was petrified of him.”

She said her husband then fell to the tile floor and screamed that he was going to kill her. As he reached for his pistol, which had dropped to the floor, Ms. Sheehan testified, she got to the gun before he did and shot him again. “His face was blank, his eyes were blank, he was enraged,” she said. “I didn’t know how many shots I fired. I stopped firing when I didn’t feel threatened anymore.”

The most noteworthy aspect of the trial:

The emotional testimony was a notable moment in a case that has generated national attention and is considered a test of the so-called battered woman defense, in which the history of the abuse that a woman accused of assault or homicide has experienced is drawn out by her lawyers to help explain her state of mind at the time of the attack.

Or perhaps rather this one:

During several hours of testimony in which she described nearly two decades of abuse at the hands of her husband, Raymond Sheehan, 49, Ms. Sheehan wore a scarf that was purple — the same color as the ribbons that other women in the courtroom wore in support of domestic violence victims.

My favorite shot of cynism in this murderous soap opera, N.Y.T. October 20, 2011:

During the trial, the prosecution showed that Ms. Sheehan had benefitted financially from Mr. Sheehan’s life insurance policies: her two children used part of the roughly $400,000 in proceeds to help pay off part of her mortgage and to finance her legal expenses.

From this, no wonder that, N.Y.T. April 27, 2011:

Both the son and daughter said that their father’s death was the best possible outcome, and that their lives were infinitely better: the long shadow of fear for their mother’s life had lifted and they felt liberated. They did not go to his funeral, but they went to his wake.

“I just wanted to see for myself,” Ms. Joyce said, “that he was dead.”

Whom do they three profiteers from the 11 bullits owe their success? First the notorious host who makes husband murderous and husband castrators (Laureena Bobbit) into celebrities, N.Y.T. of September 19, 2011:

Ms. Sheehan, during a tearful 2009 appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” declared that her marriage had been abusive. She has since become something of a symbol for battered women, and many of her supporters in court wore purple ribbons in solidarity with victims of domestic violence.

Second, who would have suspected it:

Holly Maguigan, a law professor at New York University Law School who specializes in abuse cases, noted that in cases in which abused women killed their husbands, they were typically convicted at the same rate as others accused of murder.

She said that until feminism changed social attitudes about abuse in the 1970s, battered women who killed their abusers in self-defense had been encouraged to plead insanity or were persuaded to plead guilty to lesser charges rather than risk going to trial.

“Today, there has been a growing recognition that women who are victims of violence in some cases have no choice to kill or be killed,” she said. “But juries still can have a hard time understanding how a wife can kill her husband when she is supposed to be the cool-headed and nurturing one.”

That’s cute said. Those juries are slow learners. They just won’t dig it that feminism has liberated women from accountability when they have been bad. Don’t they read Ms. Magazine? Or at least Jezebel, where women boast about how they pull no punches when they beat up their boyfriends? And don’t they catch up with the latest celebrity news, like about Ex-Governor Paterson’s stepdaughter?

The step-daughter of former Governor David Paterson was arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in a Manhattan apartment. The Post reports that Ashley Dennis, 23, “smash[ed] a bottle and a frying pan over her boyfriend’s head during an early morning brawl in Greenwich Village, authorities said… When cops arrived they found McGuinness, who was charged with choking Dennis, lying on the floor, semi-conscious and bleeding, officials said. “

A typical case of female selfdefense, as we can read. So, no, ladies, you do not risk prison for possession of bottles or frying pans, and you still can knock him down bleeding! They’ll charge him, should he survive. More from the Daily Mail, Oct. 3, 2011:

McGuinness was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanour under the state’s anti-choking law. The superintendent at the West Village building told the New York Daily News she thought somebody had been stabbed.

Pearl DiGeronimo, 60, said: ‘There was blood on the floor, on the door handle, all over the hallway. I thought it was a murder.’

A neighbour also reported hearing cries of ‘help me’ and ‘fire’ and upon seeing Mr McGuinness, she knew it was serious.

She told the paper: ‘He wasn’t moving. He had two shoes on top of him like she kicked him out of the apartment and threw the shoes.’

And no, you’ll neither stay jailed nor pay a bail:

The 23-year-old was arraigned last night at Manhattan Criminal Court. She was ordered by the judge to stay away from McGuinness, but was released without bail.

Back to the question who contributed to the aquittal of murder, N.Y.T. of October 13, 2011:

After nearly three days of deliberations, a jury of nine women and three men on Thursday found Ms. Sheehan not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of possessing the second weapon. The reasoning, the jurors said, was that Mr. Sheehan was already very badly wounded and no longer posed a threat when Ms. Sheehan shot him with the second gun. Ms. Sheehan could face a sentence of 3 1/2 to 15 years.

A superb example of female logic spelled out without false shame: If you shoot someone to death who no longer poses a threat because you already have very badly wounded him so that he is down on the floor, in his blood, you should not be charged with murder, like any man would. But instead you should be charged with possession of the weapon of your murdering the victim. I dissent, I’d propose that possession or non-possession sometimes is no choice for someone with the battered woman defense strategy!

The whole story stinks so offensively, no man with a basic sense of justice can endure it. Which is the advantage of outnumbering men by the threefold number of women in the jury. They’d never prove Oprah wrong, nor would they dare offend the purple ribbon bearers.

Hell, Mrs. Schwarzenegger has declared America a women’s nation! You got to live up to the calling. Barbara Sheenan is a role-model for all the downtrodden who won’t give up on winning the fight against the violent husband. In the end, wives rule, husbands drool!


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