NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Barbara Sheehan was sentenced Thursday in Queens state Supreme Court on a weapon charge. She got five years in prison.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

In a brief statement, Sheehan told the court, “I’ve said numerous times that I was sorry and I am.”

The Howard Beach woman was acquitted of murder after she shot her husband, retired police sergeant Raymond Sheehan, 11 times with his two guns, a revolver and a Glock, in February 2008.

Sheehan, 50, testified she feared for her life and shot her husband in self-defense after he threatened to kill her if she didn’t go with him on a Florida vacation.

She spent 12 days on Riker’s Island last month after she was found guilty on one charge of criminal possession of a weapon.

The jury convicted Sheehan only of picking up and using the Glock; apparently agreeing with Sheehan’s claim she fired the first gun in self-defense.

At Thursday’s sentencing, the two sides battled again over whether Sheehan had been a battered wife or not.

Assistant District Attorney Debra Pomodore said Sheehan’s husband was the true victim in the case saying he was a “man in the prime of his life” who was gunned down and “left to die on the bathroom floor.”

Defense Attorney Michael Dowd said Sheehan “chose to live” and that every time her husband “took his fist…and hit his wife in the face, that was a crime.”

In a victim impact statement, the retired officer’s sister-in-law, Linda Sheehan, said, “We are heartbroken that the jury has lost sight of the real victim.”

“The story of the life that Barbara told on the witness stand was not the life that we shared with her and Raymond,” she said.

During the trial, 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. 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.

Sheehan’s grown children gave a grim picture of what life was like at their home.

Jennifer Joyce, 25, testified that incidents of violence happened every day at their house. Raymond Sheehan, 21, testified he’d considered suicide while living at home and decided to go to school in Connecticut because he needed to leave the tense environment.

Prosecutors had said Sheehan was a liar upset that her marriage was crumbling and that her children had fabricated their testimony to protect their mother.

On Thursday, Sheehan appeared stunned by the sentence and left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Dowd said he finds the sentence unreasonably harsh.

“It just sends a terrible message to the victims of domestic violence and battered women across the city and the state and the country,” Dowd told 1010 WINS. “I think this is a devastating communication to the victims of domestic violence. It says to battered women that they can’t trust the system in Queens County.”

Jurors found Sheehan guilty of gun possession because she had used the Glock after her husband no longer posed a danger — since he had already been shot several times with the revolver.

Dowd said they are planning to appeal.

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments (30)
  1. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  2. Vernon Hell says:

    So ADA Pomodore is calling Raymond Sheehan the true victim in the case? A “man in the prime of his life” gunned down and “left to die on the bathroom floor.”?

    Got news for you evil Debbie. Raymond Sheehan is burning in Hell and when your time comes, you and that worthless rotten judge will join him.


  3. patricia says:

    why is everyone upset women try restraing orders that dont work have husbands and boyfriends locked up when they get out the violence is worse.i guess we are suppose to let men beat on us until we are dead.where is the justice for the women and children i guess only men get justice when the system fails u what are u suppose to do she is just a house wife he is a outstandind citizen were u in there house 24 seven u want to call the kids liars shame on u and are system that doesnt work unless u are outstanding citzen or hold a title no ome nos a housewife

  4. Argyle says:

    It’s better than nothing, but this woman should have been convicted of murder.

    The “battered woman defense” is a farce. Self-defense requires an imminent threat and a use of force proportional to that threat, neither of which is present when the “battered woman defense” invoked. It’s just a license for women in unhappy marriages to blow away their husbands. “Battered woman syndrome” is not even a recognized psychological condition in the sense used by defense lawyers. The federal courts have rejected the use of the fraudulent “battered woman defense” and states like New York need to catch up.

    The woman shot her husband 11 times as he was shaving, then afterwards can be heard on the police tape yelling, “He was laughing at me!” This was a clear-cut case of murder.

  5. Devenio says:

    Does CBS import you people for Idiot Camp? Dang, you have to be the dumbest people ever to post on a comments section. Do the world of favor and don’t have children. One of you idiots is enough. Until you’ve gone through what this woman has, please don’t pass judgement.

  6. DanTe says:

    She deserves 11 years in jail for shooting him 11 times.

  7. mj says:

    she killed a bully EX cop she should be given a medal

    1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

      actually he should have shot her the fat pig she is ..

  8. GENE says:


  9. wilbur mein says:

    You are all missing the point. A 9mm is not the weapon to use – obviously. A .45 would be the weapon of choice. Only one gun and a few shots would have done it nicely.

    1. DanTe says:

      Pepper spray should have been sufficient…..She didn’t have to use a gun 11 times.

      1. smik2012 says:

        If your life is endangered you use pepper spray and you won’t be writting any more of these comments.

  10. Maxine Rocks says:

    Totally bogus. They were her husband’s guns; why did he just leave them laying around that way?
    Too bad she didn’t do it in California where she could have served 5 hours of her sentence and walked free due to ‘overcrowding’ – oh, wait, she’s not a Hollyweird celebutramp.

  11. Barbara says:

    If she loses her appeal, how much time will she really use? does anyone know?

  12. Big ed says:

    She is a murderer and deserves life in prison.

  13. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    You are a a killer Barbara and a fat pig use the 5 years to lose some weight and reflect.

  14. smik2012 says:

    Another confused Jury. Either she acted in self defense like they said on the first count or she didn’t. If she acted in self defense like they found, than she was allowed to use necessary force under the law. You can’t be a little bit pregnant.

  15. Fritz Von says:

    I hope she gets stabbed 11 times with two different knives in jail.
    In self defense of course.

  16. mARTIN WEIDBERG says:


  17. Surfin Bird says:

    This is an unfair sentence. It was self defense.

  18. Hip hop hamburger says:

    She’s got away ith murder, but hopefully a few years in rikers will wipe that smile off her fat ugly face

    1. Jack D. says:

      I Agree. It WASNT self defense if you had the time to use two weapons… One shot, even if not to kill, then call the police, thats all you needed – IF he was even coming at you with intent to harm you….but he was shaving….double standard here, a man wouldve gotten life imprisonment. She’s a murderer. She couldve reported abuse years ago.

      At least her daughter kinda looks hot… probably from an egg donor though- definitely not from that behemoth’s gene pool lol

  19. Chrissy says:

    I hope she rots!!!

  20. newyorker says:

    So if she would have a gun permit she should be fine? Or if she used the knife she will be ok? or piece of furniture to beat him to death? What the diffirence it makes when she try to save her life. This city is like a green house for dumb officials. Thank you mayor Dumberg.

    1. Anonymous says:

      mayor Dumberg I like Doomberg. Look at the where the city is heading.

    2. Robert Richardson says:

      that didn’t make any sense! “Your killing was justified but you shouldn’t of touched a gun to do it?” are you kidding me???

  21. terry says:

    Didn’t she suffer enough – gun possession charge? Come on now – someone is just looking the hang their hat on something in this case. Just let this woman get on with her life now that she can live without fear of a threatening abusive husband. Her family has suffered enough. Let her go home to be with those who love and care about her. That what she needs most. Not to be punished any longer!

  22. What a waste says:

    Gun possession. The gun belonged to her husband who was a cop. I do find this woman being charged to be a waste of taxpayer money.

  23. Nick says:

    This is NYC. Anyone who fights back is bad for business. They get put away by the criminal friendly prosecutors as soon as possible.

    Could you imagine people who can defend themselves when Hitler Bloomberg’s Shock Troops comes a knocking?

  24. Esmerelda says:

    What is the point of wasting taxpayer money over this.
    This is a recession and serious depression, she is not a
    menace to society.
    Its no wonder we are in financial trouble, what with the government
    wasting away valuable tax dollars over foolishness.

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