A Queens jury found Howard Beach housewife Barbara Sheehan not guilty of murdering her ex-cop husband Raymond while convicting her of criminal possession of a weapon yesterday.
Her supporters and family, who saw the 50-year-old woman as a symbol of domestic violence victims with few options to escape abusive relationships, cheered inside Queens Supreme Court, according to published reports.
Sheehan was accused of first shooting her husband, a former NYPD sergeant, on Feb. 18, 2008 with a .38 caliber revolver, then using his 9 mm Glock to finish him off, shooting him a total of 11 times.
She contended she shot him in self defense after he pointed the Glock at her and threatened to kill her. The couple’s 21-year-old son, also named Raymond, testified that his father was a tyrant who exploded with little provocation and frequently abused his mother. The prosecution sought to paint Sheehan as a chronic liar repulsed by her husband’s sexual proclivities and eager to cash in his life insurance policy.
The victim’s twin brother, Vincent Sheehan, decried the verdict as “bad” in the New York Post.
Defense lawyer Michael Dowd, an expert in the defense of battered women, said his client’s exoneration was no cause for celebration. “The only thing that can bring joy to this family is to bring them back 17 years before the first blow was struck,” he said.