Barbara Sheehan, the Queens woman accused of murdering her husband, a former police officer, was acquitted of the most serious charge Thursday but still faces up to 15 years in prison on a related gun charge. NY1’s CeFaan Kim filed the following report.
Barbara Sheehan left court headed for home Thursday, but she's not a free woman yet.
The same jury that acquitted her of murder convicted her on a gun charge, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years. The decision came just a day after jurors told the court they were hopelessly deadlocked.
"Sounds like a little compromise to get a couple of people across the great divide," said Michael Dowd, Sheehan’s attorney.
Sheehan faced two counts of weapons possession: one for each of her husband's guns she used in the shooting. The jury found her not guilty for the gun she used to fire five shots, but guilty for using the second weapon, which Sheehan said she picked up and fired six times before her husband could.
"The only thing that can bring joy to this family would be to bring them back 17 years before the first blow was struck against her," said Dowd.
Sheehan was surrounded by her family and two children, who testified in their mother's defense. Sheehan's attorney would not allow them to speak because he plans to appeal the gun conviction.
He said it doesn't make sense to acquit Sheehan of murder but convict her for using the gun that killed her husband. Sheehan's father, however, said he's happy with the outcome.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown wouldn't speculate on why jurors reached the decision they did, but he said he accepts the verdict.
"Today's verdict should not be viewed as a victory for the defense or for victims of domestic violence, just as a guilty verdict would not have represented a victory for the prosecution," said Brown.
Prosecutors had argued Sheehan was driven by rage built up over years. She claimed she shot her husband after he threatened to kill her and pointed a loaded gun at her head.
Sheehan is due back in court Wednesday. She'll be sentenced at a later date. Her attorney said it's still unclear when he will appeal.