February 17,2008 was a regular Sunday outing for Irish American married couple Barbara and Raymond Sheehan. They drove to Connecticut from their Howard Beach home in Queens to watch their son play football, cook for him and deliver fresh laundry.
In the car on the way back home, the retired police sergeant punched his wife’s face and broke her nose.
The next morning as her husband (46) was shaving she shot him five times with a .38-calliber revolver, which he had left in his bedroom. When it was empty, she picked up his Glock and proceeded to shoot him six more times.
Sheehan claims her husband was arguing with her over a vacation to Florida, which she was refusing to join him for. When the argument got heated, he pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her. She grabbed his second gun from the bedroom and opened fire.
When the police arrived they found the former police officer dead on the floor of the bathroom while his wife waited on the porch with her sister. She was later charged with second-degree murder.
Now more than three years old, the case is still months away from trial. But on Tuesday prosecutors from the office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, and defense lawyer for Barbara Sheehan, Michael G Dowd deliberated over the approaching trial.
Previously, the battered wife had been barred from presenting testimony from psychiatric experts about the long-term abuse she had suffered at the hands of her husband. But a new judge, Richard L Buchter who recently took over the case has confirmed he plans to reconsider the decision.
The facts remain that Barbara Sheehan killed her husband after years of systematic abuse. The abuse she endured is proved by her own personal confessions and that of her children, extended family, domestic violence counselors and medical records.
Her husband also visited transvestite prostitutes where he wore diapers and sucked on soothers before going home and beating up his wife.
The upcoming trial will attempt to resolve the mother’s state of mind at the time she committed the offence.
“I think everybody should be told everything that happened,” Sheehan said Tuesday.
"No part of me misses him. My life is 150% better," Jennifer Sheehan (24) said of her slain Dad on the Oprah Winfrey show two years ago.
Barbara Sheehan is currently free on $1 million bail, and has worked as a secretary for the Department of Education for most of her life.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?