It’s been nearly a year since Barbara Sheehan shot and killed her ex-cop husband in their Howard Beach home.
As the months quickly pass and the bloody events of Feb. 18 slowly fade into memory, 46-year-old Sheehan and her lawyer, Michael Dowd, are collecting evidence to prove she acted in self-defense.
Following her arrest, Sheehan, a school secretary and mother of two, told police she feared her 49-year-old husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, would kill her.
For the last 18 years of their 24-year marriage, he had abused her, she said. He regularly beat her and threatened to kill her using guns and knives he kept in their 158th Street home.
During a pre-trial conference last week, Dowd revealed new information he believes to be “significant evidence” of Sheehan’s violent and twisted ways. According to the lawyer, he was a self-loathing sexual deviant who wore women’s clothing and visited with transvestite prostitutes.
Her husband’s secret life fueled his violence toward Barbara Sheehan, according to Dowd, who insisted the revelation was not intended to defame the ex-cop’s character. According to published reports, Dowd said Raymond Sheehan’s “out-of-the-mainstream” sexual activities seemed to have exacerbated his rage, which he then took out on his wife.
Dowd called the 20-year veteran a “very sick man” and cited his evidence, which includes a women’s cop costume that Sheehan allegedly wore while forcing his wife to watch, and the address of a transvestite brothel near Albany found on the GPS in Sheehan’s car.
A critical piece of evidence that Dowd has not yet been able to obtain is the email correspondence between Sheehan and transvestite hookers allegedly located on Sheehan’s hard drive, which is in the prosecution’s possession. According to published reports, Dowd said the emails are further proof that Sheehan’s private affairs fed his fury and brutality.
It was brutality that led to Raymond Sheehan’s death on the morning of Feb. 18, when his wife used his two guns — a Glock and a .35 revolver, the weapons with which he had often threatened her life — to shoot him in the back 11 times while he was shaving in the bathroom. The bullets pierced nearly every organ in Sheehan’s body, according to the medical examiner.
Barbara Sheehan faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.