NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One day after being found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan offered up some advice for women who may find themselves in an abusive situation.
Sheehan spoke with CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman in an exclusive interview outside her Howard Beach home on Friday.
Guzman: “What do you tell the average person, who maybe was in your shoes and didn’t know what to do?”
Sheehan: “Get out early. Get out early — that’s all I have to say.”
Sheehan was acquitted of murder even though she admitted she shot her husband, Raymond Sheehan, in 2008. The jury seemed to agree that she acted after years of beatings, she claimed, by her husband.
Friday she returned to her home, where the shooting had taken place, and spoke with Guzman after coming back from a routine trip for groceries.
Guzman: “How are you?”
Sheehan: “We’re okay. We’re going to stay home and just relax for a few days.”
Guzman: “You got a lot of support. Did that — I know your children supported you — but all these strangers came out of nowhere. Did that help carry you?”
Sheehan: “Absolutely. I appreciate all the support. I appreciate all you people.”
Sheehan emerged victorious from the courtroom on Thursday with her arms thrown up in victory and hugged by family and friends.
The jury did convict Sheehan on a gun charge, apparently finding that picking up a second gun and firing six more shots into her husband — for a total of 11 bullets — was a bit much, even for a claim of self-defense.
Sheehan’s former brother-in-law and dead husband’s twin brother, Vincent Sheehan, has a different view about the verdict.
“Is this really a case of domestic abuse? Because none of us obviously favors domestic abuse. But, is this a case of domestic abuse being used as an excuse for a crime that was committed?” he asked.
Vincent Sheehan said the verdict “was wrong.” Thinking about the niece and nephew who testified against his brother, he said because Barbara Sheehan is looking at some prison time for firing the second gun, “it’s not a win for anybody.”
“What happens is that you have a mother now taken away from her kids where the father is already dead,” he said.
In separate comments, Sheehan also told reporters that there were “no real winners” following her murder acquittal. She made those comments while speaking with reporters in Queens after walking home from church.
Next week, Sheehan will return to Queens Criminal Court to turn herself in on the gun charge she was convicted of. Next month, a judge will sentence her on that charge to anywhere between 3 1/2 to 15 years.
Sheehan would have faced a life sentence had she been convicted of murder.
What do you think about Sheehan’s advice? Let us know below…