Continuing a sensational murder trial in New York, Barbara Sheehan’s daughter, Jennifer, took to the stand Friday to testify in defense of her mother.
In February 2008, after decades of abuse housewife and mother-of-two, Barbara Sheehan grabbed her husband’s two guns from their secure location and shot him 11 times. She said: “I knew he was positively going to kill me ... He would always chase me and catch me. So I knew he would catch me. So I shot the gun. I don't know how many times I shot. I just fired. I stopped firing when I didn't feel threatened anymore. I grabbed the guns, closed the door and ran downstairs."
Sheehan has pleaded not guilty to murdering her ex-cop husband.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Raymond Sheehan Jr, Barbara’s son, painted a grim picture of their childhood home filled with violence and tension. Jennifer, who is now 25-years-old, added to the sad tale.
The 50-year-old school secretary is being represented by Michael Dowd, an Irish American attorney along with his associate, Dublin-born Niall MacGiollabhuí.
While being cross examined by Assistant District Attorney, Debra Pomodore Jennifer was asked how many incidents of violence she could recall in the Sheehan house hold.
Jennifer replied “Millions. It happened everyday."
She explained that Raymond Sheehan, a ex-policeman, would throw his food to the ceiling or to the floor if he was displeased with what his wife had cooked.
The daughter described her 21st birthday party which ended with her father telling her she would have to move out of the house. He then went outside and threw rocks at the house. She said: “It was very threatening.”
She told the court that it was the everyday violence episodes in the house which led her mother to open fire.
On Monday, according to CBS New York, Barbara Sheehan described in court how her husband would call her “stupid, fat and a terrible mother,” would choke her, knock her down, step on her and spit in her face.
Speaking to WPix 11, Dowd explained that representing Sheehan is the right thing to do. He said: “It was something that I felt that even in a kind of small way, by representing one woman at a time, I could make a little difference in the world of these women."
Dowd has defended at least 25 other women who killed their abusers. He has become known as an attorney to those who have no one to fight their corner.