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Sheehan in Rikers pending sentence

Barbara Sheehan climbs the steps to Queens Supreme Court to turn herself over to authorities after she was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
TimesLedger Newspapers

Lawyers hoped to get Barbara Sheehan, the Howard Beach school secretary who was acquitted of murdering her husband but found guilty on a gun possession charge, out of Rikers Island pending an appeal, but the mother of two surrendered herself to police custody last week and was subsequently locked up.

City Department of Correction documents showed that Sheehan was taken into custody Oct. 12 for criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C felony, and thrown in the Rose M. Singer Center, a Rikers facility that houses female and adolescent prisoners. She faces from 3 1/2 to five years in prison on the charge, according to the Queen district attorney’s office.

In stark contract to the smile she wore after the verdict was read Oct. 6, Sheehan was visibly upset as she appeared at the Queens Supreme Court building in Kew Gardens to turn herself in. She had tears in her eyes as she walked with her daughter up the steps carrying a large duffle bag.

Niall MacGiollabhui, who represents Sheehan along with Michael Dowd, said in an interview with TimesLedger Newspapers that the legal team plans to appeal the gun charge.

A jury found that Sheehan acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, ex-NYPD Officer Raymond Sheehan, 11 times with first a .38-caliber revolver and then a 9 mm Glock handgun while he was shaving in the bathroom of their Howard Beach home Feb. 18, 2008.

But the jury found her guilty of criminal possession of a weapon for squeezing off six rounds from the Glock.

MacGiollabhui said the decision was probably a “compromise” verdict.

The jury had complained to Queen Supreme Court Judge Barry Kron that it was “hopelessly deadlocked” on the second day of deliberations.

MacGiollabhui said he suspected some of the jurors wanted to convict Sheehan and others did not.

In order to stick her with something, they convicted her on the gun charge, he said.

MacGiollabhui and Dowd plan to appeal on the grounds that if Sheehan used the Glock in self-defense, as the jury decided, then it was a legal use of the weapon.

Sheehan’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 10, according to Corrections documents.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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