Roughly twenty-four hours after informing Justice Barry Kron that they were “hopelessly deadlocked,” the jurors in the Barbara Sheehan trial voted to acquit the Howard Beach resident of murder.
The 50-year-old mother of two was on trial for the death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, who she shot 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008.
Despite exonerating her of murder, the panel of nine women and three men decided to convict Barbara of gun possession in the second degree.
The defense’s case was centered on the two decades of physical and emotional abuse that Barbara claims she suffered at the hands of her husband, who she says was a very paranoid man with “mental issues.”
“Our father was very abusive and a horrible person,” said Jennifer Sheehan, the couple’s 25-year-old daughter, who believes her family’s life will be better without her father. “I saw a lot of abuse on my mom. It is quite obvious that it was self defense and that she’s not guilty.”
Among the myriad of injuries Barbara says her husband inflicted on her weekly in what she called their “house of nightmares” were broken fingers, black eyes, a broken ear drum, dislocated nose and stitches in her forehead from him “bashing my head against a cinderblock wall during a trip to Jamaica.” She says her husband also had four loaded guns in the house at all times.
According to reports, Sheehan cried out in the courtroom as the verdict was read.