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Barbara Sheehan, Howard Beach Woman Who Shot Police Lt. Hubby, Testifies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman who admits killing her husband took the stand Monday detailing for the jury years of alleged abuse and threats she said her husband made against her life.

With her daughter by her side, Barbara Sheehan walked into the State Supreme Court building in Kew Gardens and told reporters, "I feel fine, gonna tell the truth today."

1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reports: Emotional Testimony


Sheehan doesn't deny shooting and killing her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD lieutenant, in 2008 at their Howard Beach home.

While prosecutors call it murder, Sheehan claims she shot him in an act of self-defense after he threatened to kill her, like, she claimed, he'd done before.

In court Monday, wringing her hands and at times crying, Sheehan nervously described years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse she said she endured at the hand of her husband.

Sheehan testified that he would call her "stupid, fat and a terrible mother" and would choke her, knock her down, step on her and spit in her face.

As CBS 2's Pablo Guzman reports, her lawyer, Michael Dowd delved deep into Barbara Sheehan's claims.

Sheehan: "He would put a gun to my head."

Dowd: "What would he hold a gun to your head for?"

Sheehan: "If I went to the doctor and told him how I got the marks."

Dowd: "What would he force you to do?"

Sheehan: "He would like to dress up in women's clothes...and make me watch."

Dowd: "Did he do anything else?"

Sheehan: "He would put diapers on. And act like a baby."

Sheehan: "I could see in his eyes. He was going to kill me. He was going to kill me. I shot the gun 'cause I was afraid he was gonna get up and he was going to kill me. I stopped firing when I didn't feel threatened by him any longer.

"He'd hold a gun to my head, he said he'd kill me, kill my children and go down in glory," Sheehan said.

After years of constant beating, Sheehan said she tried to leave her husband but he wouldn't let her out of the house.

She also described a time she said her husband threw boiling pasta sauce on her just because he didn't like what she cooked.

Her 25-year-old daughter is also expected to testify.

"I'm fully behind my mom and we're just going to tell the truth," Jennifer Sheehan said.

On the night of the killing, prosecutors said Sheehan shot her husband 11 times in a hail of bullets. The District Attorney's office has called it an execution killing, not an act of self-defense. The DA said there is no way to justify firing 11 shots, that Sheehan could have left anytime, but did not.

Wearing purple ribbons, family and friends have shown up to court daily in support of the woman who they said was only trying to protect herself.

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