Sheehan Trial Date to be Set on Friday

Sheehan Trial Date to be Set on Friday

Supreme Court Justice Robert Mcgann, newly assigned to the Barbara Sheehan murder case, announced on Tuesday that the court will reconvene on Friday to give him time to study the case. He will announce a trial date and whether he will allow Sheehan to use the battered woman defense.

Sheehan, a Howard Beach resident, has admitted to shooting her husband, retired NYPD Sergeant Raymond Sheehan, in their Howard Beach home in 2008. Sheehan claims that her husband physically and mentally abused her for 16 years and says she feared for her life. However, in 2009 Justice Arthur Cooperman, who was initially assigned to the case, prohibited the defense from using expert witnesses that would support the battered woman syndrome defense.

Justice Mcgann was assigned the case on Monday after Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, who was assigned the case after Cooperman retired, recused himself from the trial two weeks ago. The judge’s ability to remain fair in the case was questioned because his daughter Rachel is a prosecutor for the Queens DA.

Sheehan and defense attorney Michael Dowd met with the judge and Prosecutor Debra Pomodore in Queens Court on Tuesday. Sheehan sat in the second row, leaning forward intently as the judge and lawyers discussed among themselves.

“I was just assigned the case yesterday so I would like to use the majority of this week to look it over,” said Judge Mcgann. Sheehan and Dowd are expected back in court on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

As Sheehan and Dowd exited the courtroom, her friends and family followed. “It’s important to have a lot of people here,” Sheehan said. “I try to let as many people know for support.”

A decision will be made on Friday whether the trial will begin on September 6 or November 6.

by Shannon Farrell


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