NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was another day of emotional testimony for Barbara Sheehan, the Queens woman who shot her husband 11 times inside their home.
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Sheehan admitted killing Raymond in February 2008 and said she carried a gun out of fear. She claims she was the victim of years of abuse at the hands of her husband.
While prosecutors call it murder, Sheehan claims she shot him in an act of self-defense after he threatened to kill her.
Prosecutors had been grilling Sheehan since she took the stand on Monday.
Under cross-examination Wednesday, she first denied but eventually admitted she benefited financially from the death of her husband, who had three life insurance policies.
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Prosecutors said she wrote a letter to one insurance company days after getting out of Rikers Island that said “My husband Raymond Sheehan passed away on February 18, 2008.”
Since she was charged with the murder, she couldn’t collect directly and had the money sent to her children who in turn, wrote her a series of checks totalling over $500,000, prosecutors said.
Sheehan denied receiving any money until she was shown copies of the cancelled checks in court.
Later, Sheehan nearly collapsed on the stand after the prosecutor confronted her with one of the guns used in the murder and asked her to demonstrate how she shot her husband.
“Do I have to?” Sheehan pleaded with the judge before breaking down sobbing.
The judge called a recess before Sheehan began heaving and complaining of chest pains.
Sheehan’s son, 21-year-old Raymond, later took the stand and told the jury his mom was a battered wife.
“I support my mom 100 percent. I know everything she’s telling is the truth,” he said.
On Monday, Sheehan testified that her husband would call her “stupid, fat and a terrible mother” and would choke her, knock her down, step on her and spit in her face.
But the District Attorney’s office has called the shooting an execution killing, not an act of self-defense and said that Sheehan could have left at anytime, but did not.
In addition to portraying Sheehan as a woman who was living the life of luxury, prosecutors on Tuesday also suggested Sheehan killed her ex-cop husband not out of fear, but because he tried to force her to engage in a sexual fetish.
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