Friday, December 3, 2004

Anson County, North Carolina

From the Charlotte Observer of December 3, 2004
Sheriff: No charge for wife in intruder-husband killing

Protective order issued; wife's door forced open

The Anson County Sheriff's Office will not press charges against a woman who killed her husband Wednesday after weeks of domestic violence against her.

Joy Burgess had a protective order against estranged husband Brian Gathings. Gathings had been convicted of threatening Burgess before, and jailed several times for charges of violence against her. But as with other recent domestic violence killings, none of it was enough to keep her safe.

When Gathings broke down his wife's back door with a shovel Wednesday, Burgess had reason to fear him, said Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen. Burgess shot Gathings once in the chest, killing him.

The district attorney is still reviewing the case, but agreed charging Burgess wouldn't be appropriate, Allen said.

"There's such strong evidence of self-defense," Allen said.


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