Barbara Sheehan free on bail


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com |

Barbara Sheehan may not be out of the woods, but she is out of prison.

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island on October 24 after a Queens judge reinstated her $1 million bail.

Barbara was in prison awaiting sentencing for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008.

The Howard Beach resident surrendered to authorities on October 12.

As of press time, repeated calls to Barbara and her attorneys regarding her release went unanswered.

Barbara’s defense was centered on the roughly two decades of physical and emotional abuse that she claims she suffered at the hands of her husband, including an argument the day before the slaying which ended with Raymond allegedly breaking his wife’s nose.

She was acquitted of second degree murder for her husband’s death on October 6.

“It’s sad what happened, but I had no choice,” said Barbara, who claims she was trying to escape from her house when her husband confronted her. “He aimed a gun at me. He tried to kill me, and I had to defend myself. I tried to get away, but he wouldn’t allow me to. At the time I thought that if I had a gun maybe he wouldn’t come at me, but that didn’t work.”

Barbara is reportedly due back in court for sentencing on November 10, and she could serve between two- and-a-quarter to 15 years behind bars.

Niall MacGiollabhui, one of Barbara’s attorneys, said an appeal of the conviction is imminent.

“Our opinion is that the jury’s verdict is inconsistent as a matter of law,” said MacGiollabhui. “If you act in self defense, then that is not unlawful. It is lawful to act in self defense, and it is lawful to use a weapon in self defense even if it is not licensed to you because your intention is not to use it unlawfully, but in self defense.”