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Murder Trial Begins For Woman Accused Of Killing Husband, Retired NYC Police Sergeant

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Barbara Sheehan on courthouse steps in Kew Gardens after opening arguments in her murder trial (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Barbara Sheehan on courthouse steps in Kew Gardens after opening arguments in her murder trial (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The murder trial for a woman accused of shooting and killing her husband, a retired New York City police sergeant, began Friday in State Supreme Court in Queens.

The jury was told by both sides that Barbara Sheehan did kill her husband Raymond at their Howard Beach home on Feb. 18, 2008 by using two different guns, including his own weapon.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Barbara Sheehan’s Murder Trial Begins

While the prosecution described the killing as an execution, defense attorney Michael Dowd, called it self defense.

“That morning, he actually pointed the automatic at her and said he was going to kill her,” Dowd said.

He claims the former police sergeant had beaten his wife for years, and she had repeatedly intervened to keep him from hurting their two children. She first spoke about her ordeal with 1010 WINS’ reporter Carol D’Auria.

“If I didn’t do it, I know it would have happened the other way,” she told D’Auria in March 2008. “If I could go back, I would take it back and try to do something  differently.”

After that first interview with D’Auria, Sheehan later appeared on an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to tell her tale.

Sheehan was surrounded in court by two dozen relatives and friends who wore purple ribbons against domestic violence.

Sheehan has said that she was a battered wife and left court with little comment.

“I’m really having a hard time right now, it’s a little hard for me to speak right now,” she told reporters.

She is expected to take the stand along with her two adult children.

Sheehan has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and is free on $1 million bail.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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