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Queens Chronicle

Sheehan found not guilty

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Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 2:32 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

Barbara Sheehan, the Howard Beach woman who said she shot her husband 11 times in self defense after he threatened to kill her and following nearly two decades of physical and emotional abuse, was found not guilty of murder Thursday afternoon.
The jury, made up of nine women and three men, acquitted Sheehan, 50, of second-degree murder but found her guilty of one count of weapons possession, which her attorney, Michael Dowd, said he planned to appeal.
“The only thing that can bring joy to this family would be to bring them back 17 years before the first blow was struck,” Dowd said on Thursday.
Sheehan will have to return to Queens Supreme courthouse in Kew Gardens on Wednesday for sentencing by Judge Barry Kron, who has presided over the case.
The verdict comes after an emotional trial over the past month, which included testimony from Sheehan and her two children, Jennifer Joyce, 25, and Raymond Sheehan, 21.
Throughout the past four weeks, Sheehan, her children and her attorney maintained she shot her husband, Raymond Sheehan, a former NYPD sergeant, on Feb. 18, 2008 after he allegedly pointed a gun at her and told her he was going to kill her. They also said the death came after he had allegedly abused for the last 18 years of their 24-year marriage and had punched her in the face, smashed her head into cinder blocks while on vacation in Jamaica, threw boiling marinara sauce on her and threatened to kill her and her children if they ever told anyone what was going on.
The prosecution, led by Assistant District Attorney Debra Pomodore, however has argued that Sheehan “executed” her husband while he was unarmed and shaving in the bathroom.
During summations on Monday, Dowd described what he said had been a life of misery for Barbara Sheehan and her two children.
“You heard from the two children about what it was like to live there,” Dowd said to the jurors. “It was literally a fog of fear about what Raymond Sheehan would do at any given moment. One of the hardest things for human beings to live with, and the children expressed this, is to go minute by minute, day by day, month by month, year by year knowing that you’ll get hit and hurt, but not knowing when it will happen.”
Dowd, wearing a purple shirt and tie, recounted testimony from Barbara Sheehan and her two children, telling jurors that his client’s husband “wanted to appear the perfect family man outside the house, but he terrorized his wife and children."

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