Sheehan supporters plead for her freedom

October 16, 2011 8:13:24 PM PDT
Some 200 supporters of Barbara Sheehan gathered outside Our Lady of Grace church in Howard Beach Sunday night hoping for mercy.

"I hope everyone's prayers are for my daughter. She doesn't belong where she is. She belongs at home with children and family," Barbara Henry, her mother, said.

"We're here tonight to send message that abuse was enough. This has to stop. She needs to come home. She doesn't need to be where she is," Kelly Sinisgalli, a friend, said.

Barbara Sheehan, 50, remains in jail waiting to learn her sentence for a weapons possession conviction, which carries 3 and a half to 15 years behind bars.

In 2008, this Queens wife and mother of 2 killed her husband, Raymond Sheehan. She shot him 11 times in their bathroom. She claimed her husband, a former New York City police sergeant, had abused her for years and that she lived in crushing fear for her life.

The jury believed her, but they did not let her go completely free. They found her guilty of the weapons charge and a judge must now rule on what would be an appropriate punishment.

Her friends and family argue she has already suffered 17 years of harsh cruelty at the hands of her husband.

"I just hope at the end of this, resolved in court, she won't have to go to prison and will be coming home soon," Michael Henry, her father, said.

Sheehan's attorney hopes to have her freed pending her sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 10. She is also appealing the gun possession conviction, but that process could take a year to complete.