A West Virginia woman, on the cusp of her 80th birthday, was arrested for shooting her 69-year-old boyfriend during a domestic dispute earlier this month. The woman was charged with felony malicious wounding in the shooting that took place at her home.
After he was shot in the chest, the victim was able to call 911 for help. He met first-responders in the driveway of the home, a bloody towel pressed to his chest. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
The shooting, which involved a handgun, happened during an argument. It is believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the shooting. The woman was handcuffed and taken to jail. She was arraigned later that day and released on $10,000 bond. During an arraignment, a suspect goes before a judge where he or she is informed of the charges and given the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
While men account for nearly 80 percent of all violent crimes, women who turn to violence are more likely to act out aggressively toward a family member or intimate partner. According to long-standing research: “Violent behavior of women varies significantly in the public and private domains. Criminal statistics indicate a relatively low proportion of women among violent offenders in the public domain, while in the domestic and/or private domain statistics reflect almost no gender difference in violent behavior.” Research from California State University demonstrates “that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.”
A 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly one in seven men in the United States have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, compared to one in four women. In another report, it was concluded that men accounted for 12 to 40 percent of those “injured in heterosexual couple violence,” and men make up 30 percent of “intimate homicide victims” that do not include self-defense killings. In addition, women are as likely as men to kill their children and more likely than men to their abuse children.
In Washington State, a conviction in a domestic violence case can result in thousands of dollars in fines and legal and court fees and, potentially, years in prison. Mitigating circumstances could alleviate the penalties. Although mitigating circumstances do not justify or excuse criminal conduct, they are factors -- such as age, mental or emotional disturbance, or lack of a criminal record -- that can lessen the severity of the act.
Regardless of the circumstances, everyone deserves the best defense. If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.