Sheehan released from prison despite gun conviction

Posted at 4:35 PM, Oct 24, 2011
and last updated 2013-05-29 16:40:44-04

Barbara Sheehan Outside court

Barbara Sheehan is a free woman Monday, able to be with her family and children after nearly two weeks behind bars despite being acquitted of murdering her husband. But the question that truly hasn’t been answered is should she ever have been put there in the first place.

She’s once again in the arms of her family who’ve been her strength throughout her three-and-a-half year ordeal while going through the trial for killing her husband Raymond.

Her first words on the courthouse steps: “I’m very happy right now, but it’s been a difficult time.”

Sheehan’s face spoke more than her words, she looked pale with dark circles under her eyes, a rosary around her neck. Sheehan spent six extra days behind bars for a bail paperwork snafu.

And Sheehan has never publicly spoken about the verdict 3 weeks ago when she was acquitted of murder and firing 5 shots into her husband with his .38 caliber gun.

When asked about the jury’s verdict, Sheehan said, “Thank god they believed in me, my story, (and) my children’s story.”

But the jury did find her guilty of criminally possessing a second gun. In an exclusive interview with PIX 11, the jury forewoman said they felt she didn’t need to use Raymond’s Glock and fire the next 6 shots. And on the day of her sentencing, the judge ordered her to start serving jail time. But an appeal court ruling that should have gotten her out in days turned into nearly 2 long weeks behind bars.

About the legal wrangling over being lefpt out on bail pending her appeal on the gun conviction, Barbara would only say, “It’s hard to talk about the justice system right now. I don’t know if I should heave ever turned myself in.”

Her bail bondsman James Carfora summed it up, “They just wanted to cover their butts.”

Barbara’s bail bondsman was called before her judge today, just for a signature and to verify her bail. He said in 11 years on the job he’s never been asked to do that or seen the sky high million dollar bail Sheehan has for a gun conviction. He has two million dollars worth of property bonded to make sure Barbara isn’t a flight risk–collateral from five of her family’s homes. “I wasn’t a flight risk on my murder charge, I’m not a flight risk on a gun charge,” said Sheehan.

The appeal of that gun conviction also opens new doors for the defense. They want text messages from the District Attorney’s office from Raymond Sheehan’s phone–which may include threats to Barbara, as well as expert doctor testimony about how much Barbara feared for her life.

Her attorney Michael Dowd felt both would provide strong evidence as to her state of mind when she faced off gun to gun with Raymond in the family bathroom, “The central fact that she was in fear for her life when she grabbed the second gun as she kept firing as she was backing up.”

Sheehan now faces losing her job. The $40,000 a year secretary has a hearing with the Department of Education to be fired since she now is a convicted felon.

She will be formally sentenced on November 10 for criminal possession of a weapon and could face anywhere from 2 to 15 years behind bars, but she is appealing that conviction.