Barbara Sheehan, Howard Beach Woman Who Shot Police Lt. Hubby, Testifies

Says She Suffered Years Of Emotional, Physical Abuse At Hands Of Her Spouse

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman who admits killing her husband took the stand Monday detailing for the jury years of alleged abuse and threats she said her husband made against her life.

With her daughter by her side, Barbara Sheehan walked into the State Supreme Court building in Kew Gardens and told reporters, “I feel fine, gonna tell the truth today.”

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Emotional Testimony

Sheehan doesn’t deny shooting and killing her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD lieutenant, in 2008 at their Howard Beach home.

While prosecutors call it murder, Sheehan claims she shot him in an act of self-defense after he threatened to kill her, like, she claimed, he’d done before.

In court Monday, wringing her hands and at times crying, Sheehan nervously described years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse she said she endured at the hand of her husband.

Sheehan testified that he would call her “stupid, fat and a terrible mother” and would choke her, knock her down, step on her and spit in her face.

As CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, her lawyer, Michael Dowd delved deep into Barbara Sheehan’s claims.

Sheehan: “He would put a gun to my head.”

Dowd: “What would he hold a gun to your head for?”

Sheehan: “If I went to the doctor and told him how I got the marks.”

Dowd: “What would he force you to do?”

Sheehan: “He would like to dress up in women’s clothes…and make me watch.”

Dowd: “Did he do anything else?”

Sheehan: “He would put diapers on. And act like a baby.”

Sheehan: “I could see in his eyes. He was going to kill me. He was going to kill me. I shot the gun ’cause I was afraid he was gonna get up and he was going to kill me. I stopped firing when I didn’t feel threatened by him any longer.

“He’d hold a gun to my head, he said he’d kill me, kill my children and go down in glory,” Sheehan said.

After years of constant beating, Sheehan said she tried to leave her husband but he wouldn’t let her out of the house.

She also described a time she said her husband threw boiling pasta sauce on her just because he didn’t like what she cooked.

Her 25-year-old daughter is also expected to testify.

“I’m fully behind my mom and we’re just going to tell the truth,” Jennifer Sheehan said.

On the night of the killing, prosecutors said Sheehan shot her husband 11 times in a hail of bullets. The District Attorney’s office has called it an execution killing, not an act of self-defense. The DA said there is no way to justify firing 11 shots, that Sheehan could have left anytime, but did not.

Wearing purple ribbons, family and friends have shown up to court daily in support of the woman who they said was only trying to protect herself.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below…

  • Nita

    I bet he was surprised when that first bullet hit that ass.

  • Jillian

    He got exactly what he deserved. Period, point blank. Literally. As a woman who understands exactly what it is to be abused, I commend her for having the bravery to treat him exactly the way he treated her…like a piece of meat. There is NO reason why she should walk into any prison and serve so much as a minute, she deserves to be free and live her life finally. The NYPD is to serve and protect, not abuse and disrespect, and this unfortunately brings to light behavior that has been going on for YEARSSSSSSSS! I wish you all the best of luck, and all the best with your children Barbara…for you, are a hero amongst many battered women. Regardless of him being an officer, a sergeant, or whatever he got exactly what he deserved…

    • MikeD

      How can you be sure that she is telling the truth?

  • Tracey

    Reverend Rev, you are a sick puppy. Unless you’ve been in her situation, you wouldn’t be able to understand. I, personally, have experienced similar abuse and to this day, I still fear for my life. He’s a twice convicted COP felon who got 10 years probation. He’s still “lurking” out there with nothing but a restraining order. He must remain 300 feet away from me. That’s bullet range. I commend Barbara. I also believe Barbara acted in self defense. If she was a cold blooded murderer, she could have killed him many years ago. Please don’t forget that there are/were childen involved. Those children lived that life with her-a life of fear, torture and humiliation. Again, unless you’ve lived it, had someone hold a gun to your head- and that person is backed by law enforcement because they protect each other, you wouldn’t understand.

    Barbara, my heart goes out to you. You did what you had to do to save your life.

  • derbeader

    Rev might want to spend a month or so among these ‘heroes’… just like ‘regular people’… some are ‘good’, some are abusive of not only their family but their ‘power’. Period. End of This Discussion WITH the ‘good’ Reverend Rev… a ‘good’ hearted soul.

  • Reverend Rev

    ANY use of force against a cop is absolutley illegal, EVEN IN SELF DEFENSE.

    • John

      this is irrelevant…he was not on duty and retired for 10 what are you talking about?

      • Reverend Rev

        Once a cop, always a cop.

    • FreeThinker

      There are lots of things that are illegal that aren’t morally or ethically correct. It used to be illegal for women or black people to vote. The law isn’t always right.

  • SocialSafety

    I she goes free. Frankly, unless you’ve been in an abusive relationship
    you have no business commenting.

    • T. Soprano

      3 things, SocialSafety: 1) I think you meant to say I hope she goes free. 2) Please don’t tell me I don’t have the right to comment, THAT borders on being abusive! 3) Finally, IF what the woman says is true, she WAS abused and the guy should be dead. No one should treat a spouse like that.

    • Reverend Rev

      The “abusive relationship” thing is IRRELEVANT.

      She shot a COP. Automatic death penalty. Period. End of discussion.

      • Suzy V

        To Reverend Rev…. You sound like an ignorante idiot!! Just because some one is an officer of the law dosen’t automatically make them above the law.
        Yes, the abusive relationship is extremely RELEVANT. PERIOD. It sounds like
        you may have a control issue. Perhaps you should get that checked out. It’s possible you could find yourself in a similar situation.

    • Lalah

      As someone who’s been in an abusive relationship… I’m sorry, but at the first sign of danger, out of self preservation, I got myself out of there to a place of safety. Shooting someone 11 times, with two guns and while they shower is not self defense. That’s taking someone else’s life.

      • FreeThinker

        It seems as though you do not have all the information about the case. He did not start abusing her until her son (2nd child) was born which was 8 or so years into their relationship. Also, he was not in the shower, he had just gotten out of the shower and had pointed a gun at her before she shot at him. It sounds as though you were lucky enough to escape when you did but Barbara was not as lucky.

  • Jose

    I truly wish her the best, and hope she walks away “FREE”, I personally don’t like cops because out of 100%, 98% think they are untouchable that can get away with anything, There should be a law that would protect not only women like Barbara Sheehan, but everyone else who have been practically bullied by cops, and the punishment should be to take their badge, gun and make them serve jail time.

  • Lieutenantdan

    I find it hard to believe that this was an act of self defense.
    I could understand if one or two shots had been fired but shooting this person 11 times is extreme but we never know all the details in most news stories.

  • LiberalsAreEvil

    Her only motive for killing this jerk was to stay alive. What can I say…she snapped after years of cruetly.

    • Reverend Rev

      The claim of “self-defense” is completely and absolutely IRRELEVANT because all cops are Legally Designated Heroes and thus are exempt from all laws.

      She shot a COP. Automatic death penalty. Period. End of discussion.

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