Tag Archives: Barbara Sheehan

Barbara Sheehan seeks clemency, sticking to self-defense argument


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYSPAC

Six months ago Barbara Sheehan began her five-year sentence after shooting and killing her husband. Today, she is seeking an exception to her prison stay, and wants to serve her time for weapons possession at home.

The 52-year-old Howard Beach resident fatally shot her husband, retired NYPD Sergeant Raymond Sheehan, 11 times with two different guns in February 2008. She said she suffered nearly two decades of abuse at her husband’s hands and he would have killed her had she not pulled the trigger.

“When you’re in a domestic violence situation, it’s not as black and white as it appears to be,” Sheehan told The Courier. “Just looking at his face, his eyes told me this was it. He was getting up and he was going to kill me.”

A prison support group created an online petition to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to grant Sheehan clemency. So far, about 2,000 people have signed and pledged their support.

Sheehan was acquitted of murder but charged with weapons possession for the second gun she used that day. She is currently serving her sentence at the Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

The former school secretary was charged because when she shot with the second firearm, her husband no longer posed a threat. However, she said he didn’t die after shots from the first gun.

“He was still trying to come after me,” she said.

After starting her time last summer, she reached out to the New York State Prisoner Assistance Center (PAC) to address an “administrative issue” in the prison, said PAC Executive Director Mario Vredenburg. He then started to look into Sheehan’s case and is helping her apply for executive clemency.

If the order is granted, Sheehan will be able to serve the remainder of her sentence from home. The toughest part about prison, she said, is being far from her family and two children.

Vredenburg said prisoners can apply for clemency in exceptional circumstances, namely if something was legally wrong with the conviction. He said there was no criminal intent when Sheehan used the two guns, they were not her guns to begin with and Sheehan’s life was “in imminent danger.”

Additionally, Sheehan said the jury was “forbidden” to hear her psychiatrist’s testimony, who would have detailed her “state of mind” at the time of the shooting.

“I was not able to defend myself properly,” she said.

The PAC will file on Sheehan’s behalf with the governor’s office in March.

“We’re not asking for the governor to say it was legal for her to use that gun. We’re asking him to forgive her conviction,” Vredenburg said.

To see the petition and read more, click here.

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Woman who fatally shot husband continues to fight gun sentence


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Barbara Sheehan, who was acquitted of charges for fatally shooting her husband in 2008, has lost an appeal to have another charge revoked.

She was sentenced in 2011 to five years in prison for criminal possession of a weapon and appealed the case before the latest ruling last week. Sheehan will also be under supervision for two-and-a-half years after she is released.

Her legal team will now take the case to the next level, the New York Court of Appeals, in hopes of getting the case thrown out or the sentence reduced.

Sheehan shot her husband, Raymond, 11 times on February 18, 2008 inside their Howard Beach home after years of reported physical and verbal abuse from him. Raymond Sheehan was an NYPD sergeant.

The charge for criminal possession of a weapon was for a 9-mm. Glock pistol Sheehan used on her husband — a Class C felony. Sheehan, who was protected under Jenna’s Law for the years of abuse, but faced anywhere from three-and-a-half to 15 years in prison.

“We are obviously disappointed with the decision of the appellate division,” said Nathaniel

Marmur, one of Sheehan’s lawyers. “But we are hopeful the court of appeals will see the grave injustice [...] that was done here and will review the case and reverse the conviction.”

Marmur said his client was upset by the May 29 ruling, but that she was planning to pursue another court battle to get her freedom.

“She was devastated, but she is a resilient woman as I think the trial showed,” he said. “And she is also looking forward to her ultimate vindication.”

Marmur contended that the judge violated guidelines for evaluating the handgun possession charge on its own merits, and in fact allowed the dismissed shooting charge to bear on his sentencing.

“It’s obviously a very strange situation,” he said. “On its face, it makes no sense. The law is stuck with this weird verdict that it doesn’t know what to do with.”

District Attorney Richard Brown said considering that Sheehan was a first-time offender, her sentence was “appropriate and not excessive.”

Neither Sheehan nor her trial attorney, Niall MacGiollabhui, returned messages requesting a comment.

 

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Barbara Sheehan loses appeal on gun possession conviction


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Barbara Sheehan, the woman acquitted of fatally shooting her husband inside their Howard Beach home, has lost her appeal of a criminal weapons conviction related to the same case, District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday.

In its decision, the court upheld her sentence of five years in prison followed by two-and-a-half years probation for the gun possession charge.

“The case has now been remitted to the trial court to arrange for Ms. Sheehan’s surrender and the execution of sentence,” Brown said in a statement.

She previously faced up to 15 years behind bars for the murder of her husband Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant.

Sheehan, accused of shooting her husband 11 times in February 2008, testified during the trial that she was a domestic abuse victim for almost two decades and claimed she shot him in self-defense.

 

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Tome tells tale of life in the Sheehan home


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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More than four years after Barbara Sheehan fired 11 shots into her husband, Raymond Sheehan Sr., inside their Howard Beach home, the couple’s children have released a book telling their side of the story.

The book, “In Bed With the Badge: the Barbara Sheehan Story,” hit shelves Tuesday, July 17. The story is told through the point of view of Jennifer Sheehan Joyce and Raymond Sheehan Jr., about what it was like growing up in the Sheehan home.

Their mother, Barbara, was acquitted in the 2008 murder of Sheehan, a retired NYPD officer who was reported to have been physically and emotionally abusive to Barabara and the children. She still faces five years in prison, however, on a second degree weapons conviction which she and her lawyers are in the process of appealing.

Jennifer and Raymond Sheehan Jr., who were 21 and 18 at the time of the shooting, respectively, both took the stand in defense of their mother at the 2011 trial and confirmed her reports that the retired police sergeant had been abusive.

Raymond Jr. said writing the book was intended to help those living in a broken or abusive home get out before it was too late.

“I think [the book] will help other victims of domestic violence see what the warning signs are and it will help them get out early,” he said at the family’s home. “Especially if they’re in danger. I think that was the main idea.”

He went on to reaffirm that the tome elaborated on their testimony in court.

“I hope it will reinforce the idea that none of us was lying and everything we told was the truth,” the now 22-year-old said. “These were all the stories and stuff and they can really see what we went through and how bad it was.”

Raymond Jr. added that while he didn’t think the book would bring closure, the Sheehans had been doing better than they had been.

Niall MacGiollabhui, Barbara Sheehan’s lawyer, said he had filed an appeal of the weapons conviction and was waiting for a response from the prosecution.

“We’re praying and hope that we win the appeal,” Raymond Jr. said.

— Additional Reporting by Philip Hertling

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/11/2011: Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes

William F. Boyland Jr., a Democratic assemblyman from one of Brooklyn’s most prominent political families, was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes in return for using his influence on behalf of a health care organization that runs hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been reportedly sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case. Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Councilman Pleads Guilty To Charges Stemming From 1996 Larceny Case

Just two days after winning re-election, a City Councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a 15-year-old larceny case. Queens Councilman Ruben Wills admitted to stealing items and damaging a Manhattan office building in 1996. The case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does three days of community service and pays $2,500 in restitution. Wills said the incident arose from a business dispute. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. Read More: NY1

 

10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for American Airlines Flight 587 on Saturday

Saturday, November 12 American Airlines Flight 587 10th anniversary memorial ceremony

Beach 116th Street, Belle Harbor – 9 a.m.

There will be a moment of silence at 9:16 a.m. at the time of the crash, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. The ceremony will be held at the memorial site, which was unveiled for the fifth anniversary. More Event Details: Queens Courier

 

Stalled Road Construction Keeps Forest Hills Residents From Getting Sleep

Forest Hills residents are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of the noise stemming from cars driving over a work site on 71st Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

City surrenders in long battle to turn historic St. Saviour’s site into Maspeth park

The city has given up its long fight to acquire the land where a historic Maspeth church once stood and turn it into park space. But the city and now looking into purchasing a City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) are smaller parcel of land from the nearby Martin Luther School as an alternative to the St. Saviour’s site. Read More: Daily News

 

Woodside monument honoring World War I heroes gets face-lift for Veterans Day

The majestic statue that stands at the foot of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside was created to honor local soldiers who paid the ultimate price in World War I. The female figure, sword in one hand and shield in the other, stands sentry over the tiny plaza in the neighborhood formerly known as Winfield. Read More: Daily News

[UPDATE] Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case.

Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. The Howard Beach resident and mother of two was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years of post-release supervision.

During the trial, Sheehan, 50, testified that she was a victim of domestic abuse for nearly 20 years, which her attorney, Niall MacGiollabhui, says should have been taken into consideration in her sentence.

“Mr. [Michael] Dowd [her attorney], Barbara and I are all disappointed with the sentence,” said MacGiollabhui. “The main reason we are disappointed is that there is a penal law which allows for a reduced sentence if the judge finds that the defendant is a victim of domestic violence and that violence was a factor in the crime that was committed. That finding is meant to be made during a hearing, which is held prior to sentencing. The judge in this case refused to have a hearing, and then he said that he found Barbara was a victim of domestic violence and that it was a factor in the crime, but that he would give her no credit because of it.”

MacGiollabhui also deems the judge’s decision to be unfair due to his belief that the killing of Barbara’s husband was taken into account during sentencing, despite her acquittal of murder.

“The judge basically said that [Barbara] could have simply left that day, which goes to one of the great myths of domestic violence, which is that the woman is free to leave,” said the attorney.

Sheehan’s bail was recently reinstated, allowing her to return home while she awaited sentencing. Her bail is expected to continue pending an appeal, which MacGiollabhui says should be filed early in the new year.

“Our opinion is that the jury’s verdict is inconsistent as a matter of law,” he said. “If you act in self-defense, then that is not unlawful. 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.”

MacGiollabhui also said that “the manner in which [Barbara] was sentenced and the sentence she received will both be part of the appeal.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/27/2011: NYPD detective who fired first at Sean Bell believed victim’s friend was about to shoot


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

NYPD detective who fired first at Sean Bell: I believed slain Queens man’s friend was about to shoot

The detective who fired the first shot in the barrage that killed Sean Bell testified Wednesday he used his gun because he thought a pal of the groom-to-be was primed to strike first. Gescard Isnora, who was undercover at the time of the shooting, testified in his NYPD trial that he believed Bell’s friend held a firearm in his hand – and that this fear trumped the detective’s reluctance to use his gun. Read More: Daily News

 

Occupy Wall Street protester punched by NYPD police inspector on video to meet with prosecutors
Prosecutors will meet with Occupy Wall Street protestor Felix Rivera-Pitre, who was filmed being punched in the face by an NYPD supervisor in a video that quickly went viral. Lawyer Ron Kuby said Wednesday he’ll bring his client in now that that cops have agreed not to press charges against Rivera-Pitre until an investigation is complete. The NYPD has said Rivera-Pitre was the aggressor in the October 14 incident – and that he tried to elbow Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona. Read More & Watch the Video: Daily News

 

 

Barbara Sheehan, woman acquitted of killing her husband says he visited transgender prostitutes

 

The Queens woman acquitted in the fatal shooting of her abusive ex- cop husband says she withheld sex from him for a decade because he patronized transvestite prostitutes. Sheehan also claims that her husband had an infantilism fetish and that the guilt from these deviances would propel him into a rage. Read More: New York Post

 

NY lawmaker to bring home US-Israeli

A U.S. congressman has arrived in Israel to bring home a U.S.-Israeli citizen who was arrested in Egypt four months ago on suspicions of espionage. A statement from Congressmember Gary Ackerman on Wednesday said he traveled to Israel to bring home Ilan Grapel, a Queens constituent. Grapel is expected to be released Thursday afternoon. The timing on his return to New York is uncertain. Read More: Washington Post

 

 

Man Charged With Shooting Woman In Maspeth

Police arrested a man Tuesday in connection with a shooting that injured a woman in Maspeth the previous night. Elijah Stamateris, 22, faces assault and weapons charges. According to police sources, a group of people was smoking marijuana and playing with a gun late Monday, when the 21-year-old woman was shot in the head. She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition. Read More: NY1

 

Cornell president says own university’s plan is best bet to win Bloomberg’s contest for tech school

Cornell has launched a media blitz in recent weeks, unveiling several details of its plan to build a state-of-the-art tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Lured by the promise of free land and a $100 million grant, Cornell is among an impressive roster of top universities vying to set up an applied-sciences campus in the city. The deadline for proposals is Thursday, and Mayor Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner by year’s end. Read More: Daily News

 

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.”

Barbara Sheehan released from prison


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island earlier today, roughly two weeks after she was taken into custody.

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. She surrendered to authorities on October 12.

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 on October 6.

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, says an appeal of the conviction is imminent.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/25/2011: 8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Egypt to release Queens native

The Prime Minister of Israel announced that Ilan Grapel, the Queens native and law student arrested during the Egyptian uprisings in June, will be released in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners, according to Congressmember Gary Ackerman’s office. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Barbara Sheehan released from prison

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island earlier today, roughly two weeks after she was taken into custody. 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. Read More: Queens Courier

 

15-year-old held in rape attempts in Queens

A 15-year-old Queens youth has been arrested on charges that he tried to rape two women this month, part of what the authorities say is a pattern of five attacks in the borough’s southeastern section that began in late September. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Queens suspect forcibly grabs woman’s breast in subway station

A suspect is being sought in connection with yet another sex crime in Queens. Police said that last Thursday a suspect approached 22-year-old woman at the Seneca Avenue M Line subway station and grabbed her breast and private area.  The suspect then fled the station for the street. Read More: CBS News

 

 

8 Officers Charged With Gun Trafficking in U.S. Corruption Case

Eight current and former New York Police Department officers were arrested early Tuesday on federal charges including gun trafficking and conspiracy to smuggle cigarettes, according to people briefed on the case. Read More: New York Times

 

 

Vigil held for Barbara Sheehan


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Vigil

Howard Beach residents have sent a clear message to Barbara Sheehan – “you are not alone.”

Over 100 people attended a vigil held at Ave Maria Catholic Academy, located at 158-20 101st Street, on Sunday, October 16 to express support for their neighbor. Barbara is currently in prison awaiting sentencing after being convicted of 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 overwhelming opinion among the crowd was that Barbara and her family had suffered enough at the hands of Raymond and that they deserve to be reunited.

“I don’t think she should be in jail; not at all,” said Christine Otoole, a friend of Barbara’s. “The poor woman was abused for 18 years. It’s very easy for someone to say that she should’ve reported it, but not easy to do when you fear for your life. I’ve never been abused but I can just imagine what the poor woman went through. I’m married to a police officer and he never has his gun out. So why was [Raymond’s] gun out? That guy was obviously a psychopath.”

Deacon Alex Breviario of Our Lady of Grace spoke at the vigil, preaching faith and cooperation.

“Our rule is not to judge, but to support others in their time of need. That’s why we are here tonight for Barbara and her family,” said Breviario.

Barbara, who faced 25 years to life in prison before being found not guilty of murder, could serve between two-and-a-quarter to 15 years behind bars depending on sentencing. Although the usual minimum sentence for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is three-and-a-half years, Barbara faces a reduced minimum sentence of two-and-a-quarter years due to the domestic abuse she suffered.

The 50-year-old mother of two surrendered to authorities on October 12, but her attorney, Niall MacGiollabhui, says an appeal of the conviction is imminent.

MacGiollabhui has submitted an application to the appellate division to allow Barbara to remain on bail pending her sentencing and the results of the appeal. As of press time, Justice Barry Kron had yet to make a decision regarding bail.

Members of the Sheehan family also attended the vigil and expressed gratitude for the encouragement provided to Barbara.

“I just want to thank everybody for their support during the last three-and-a-half years for what we’ve been going through, since everybody was there for us,” said Michael Henry, Barbara’s father. “We appreciate it and we love every single one of you.”

— Additional reporting by Nargas Karimi

Barbara Sheehan lawyers plan appeal


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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The chapter of the Barbara Sheehan murder trial is complete, but the story’s conclusion has yet to be written.

Although the 50-year-old mother of two was acquitted of second degree murder, a jury of nine women and three men chose to convict her of 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 in their Howard Beach home.

“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, who faced 25 years to life in prison before being found not guilty of murder, could serve between two and a quarter to 15 years behind bars depending on sentencing. The Howard Beach resident was very disappointed with the jury’s verdict, and her lawyers believe the decision to be inherently contradictory.

“Our opinion is that the jury’s verdict is inconsistent as a matter of law,” said Niall MacGiollabhui, one of Barbara’s attorneys. “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.”

Barbara was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, October 12 to surrender. MacGiollabhui says an appeal of the conviction is imminent, and he also intends to submit an application to the appellate division to allow Barbara to remain on bail pending her sentencing and the results of the appeal.

As of press time, it remained uncertain whether Barbara would be allowed to remain out on bail.

According to MacGiollabhui, the District Attorney’s office has a record of text messages retrieved from the cell phones of Barbara and her children and sent by Raymond on the days leading up to his death. MacGiollabhui says that the messages confirm that Raymond was threatening both Barbara and their children, and that they could prove to be vital evidence during the appeal.

Although the DA’s office advised the defense to contact Verizon regarding the records, MacGiollabhui says the telephone company is unable to locate them. The attorney also says the defense is constitutionally entitled to the records, and he will make a formal request to the judge that the evidence be shared if the DA’s office proves uncooperative.

“The DA put on a case that Barbara and her children fabricated the domestic violence,” said MacGiollabhui. “If they put on that kind of a case, while they had evidence in their possession proving that Barbara’s husband made threats to her, to me that’s utterly dishonest.”

MacGiollabhui says the appeal may last at least another year, meaning Barbara’s fight to preserve her life is far from over.

“It’s been very difficult,” Barbara said – moments after her trial went to jury. “It continues to be very difficult until it is over.”

Barbara Sheehan acquitted of murdering her husband


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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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.

Before the verdict was reached, Barbara faced 25 years to life in prison.

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.

Sheehan’s fate in the hands of jury


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

doc4e8b702e5e0eb552591518

The trial for Barbara Sheehan’s life started long before September 9.

According to the 50-year-old mother of two, her life was on the line each day of the final 18 years of her marriage.

The Howard Beach resident is being tried on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008.

“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.”

What followed was the firing of 11 shots by Barbara – the first five from the revolver she held and the subsequent six from the .9-mm Glock she says her husband reached for as he screamed that he was going to kill her.

The jury is currently in deliberation, and Barbara admits that being on trial has felt like being stuck in “quick sand.” If found guilty, she faces 25 years to life in prison.

Upon leaving the courthouse on Tuesday, October 4, one dismissed alternate juror reportedly shouted two words towards a crowd of reporters – “not guilty.”

“I hope all the jurors see the same thing,” Barbara said. “I expect to be found not guilty, because I know that I am.”

The defense’s case was centered on the roughly 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. “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, a 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.

Barbara has been highly critical of the tactics used by Assistant District Attorney Debra Pomodore during the trial and described the ADA’s request for her to hold the guns as “total manipulation.”

“I think that the Queens District Attorney’s Office is a disgrace,” she said. “They lied about everything. They said that it wasn’t self defense and that they knew what happened, but they weren’t there. Each one of their witnesses was discredited. Pomodore showed no proof to show that any of us lied.”

If acquitted of the charges against her, Barbara says she plans to speak out against domestic violence and help women in abusive relationships. She also says she hopes to shine light on police officers involved in domestic violence, which she describes as “more difficult and scary,” because “you can’t call the police on the police.”