Daycare owner pleads guilty to shooting her husband over child molestation accusation
Baltimore, Maryland: On Monday, November 28, 2022 Shamteari Weems plead guilty to charges filed against her following the July 21, 2022 shooting of her former police officer husband over accusations that he molested children at her daycare.
Weems, 50, was charged with assault with intent to kill and possession of an unregistered firearm as well as other offenses. She plead guilty to aggravated assault knowingly while armed and carrying a pistol outside of her home or business without a license.
Weems is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2023 before Judge Michael O'Keefe.
Her husband, 57-year-old James Weems Jr., a former Baltimore police officer, was transferred to the hospital with two gunshot wounds. The first shot hit his neck and the second struck him in the leg. He has since been discharged from the hospital, but remains in police custody pending trial on multiple sex abuse charges related to at least three children.
The charges against James include three counts each of sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault, third-degree sex offense and fourth-degree sexual contact as well as a single count of display of obscene material to a minor.
His case is scheduled to be heard by a jury in May.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Tony Garcia, a defense attorney, said prosecutors are expected to request a sentence of two years in prison with an additional three years of probation in accordance with the plea deal.
Garcia said he would argue with "everything I have" for a lighter sentence, asserting, even after his client entered her guilty plea, that she had acted in self-defense, believing that her husband was armed and would shoot her.
"When this argument takes place, she believes [her husband] was armed, and she shot him," Garcia was quoted as saying. "Ms. Weems was traumatized by the fact that her very husband was [accused of] molesting these children. It had to stop, it would stop. And, as a result of what happened that night, and as a result of her giving information to the police, he is now charged."
Garcia acknowledged that the fact that Weems had shot her husband twice was potentially problematic if her case were to be heard by a jury.
"Even in a situation where you shoot a person that you believe is coming at you to harm you, there was a second shot, and that second shot can be argued one way or another in front of a jury, and she did not want to take that kind of risk," Garcia said.
Additionally, "She wrote a note because she thought he wasn't going to make it. She thought that she was not going to survive the evening. So she wrote a note. In that note, she write that she had no intention of killing him at all, but she did have an intent to stop him from molesting more children."
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