In this week’s case, we meet Tonya, a single mother, 5’ 1” tall, who was attacked by an enraged ex, 6’2” tall, the day before New Year’s Eve. Tonya was home by herself when the violent and abusive ex-boyfriend smashed open the front door to Tonya’s home.
Tonya, refusing to go gentle into the good night, and after calling 911, shot the ex with her gun bringing the violent attack to an abrupt halt. The wounded ex was picked up by an ambulance and reported Tonya to the police. Tonya was arrested by the police; and then, Tonya was charged by the Brooklyn DA for Criminal Possession of a Firearm.
Tonya’s Brief Background:
In 2003, Tonya moved from New York City to North Carolina to shield her young son from the negative influences of their dangerous neighborhood. While there, Tonya legally purchased a handgun. Tonya worked as a licensed practical nurse and raised her son in North Carolina until he graduated from college. Tonya has no criminal record.
In 2012 they moved back to New York City and Tonya brought the gun with her. Her son found a job and moved to the Bronx. Tonya decided to continue her studies to become a registered nurse. In 2016 she met the ex and began a romantic relationship, which ended as a result of the ex’s verbal and physical abuse.
On December 29, 2017, the ex loudly and unexpectedly knocked on the door of Tonya’s home, demanding entrance. When she refused and called the police, he broke her storm door. He left before the police arrived to avoid arrest, only to return the following night.
On December 30, the ex, who had a criminal record, was a registered sex offender and the subject of an earlier domestic incident report, again demanded entrance, threatening Tonya loudly and banging hard on the front door.
Terrified, Tonya blocked the front door with her couch, took her gun from the closet and called 911. While Tonya was on the phone, the ex broke in her door. She fired twice, hitting him once. This stopped the attack. The police arrived shortly after and saw the ex lying inside Tonya’s front doorway. The ex lied to the police about his actions at the time he was shot inside Tonya’s home. Tonya admitted shooting the ex and was later arrested, arraigned and indicted for unlawful gun possession.
Tonya’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case for one reason: THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE. And that is exactly what the Brooklyn judge did. The judge noted that “a dismissal in the furtherance of justice depends solely on the justice served and not on the factual or legal merits of the charge or the guilt of the accused.”
The Brooklyn judge refused to punish Tonya further for behavior that “was driven by terror in a desperate act of self-defense.
Here is the case: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2019/2019_50015.htm