PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. - Cheryl McCafferty told Kentucky Parole Authority membersThursday that domestic abuse led to her to kill her husband in June2007 and she asked that she be released from prison because of theabuse she suffered.
Although she said she felt remorse for her actions everyday, thetwo members hearing her case at the Kentucky CorrectionalInstitution for Women at Pewee Valley, Ky. split their votes. Thatputs the final say in the hands of the full nine-member board whichwill vote during their meeting Tuesday in Frankfort, Ky.
She said the abuse started three years into her 18-year marriageto Robert McCafferty.
"Would you say you were a victim of domestic violence?" askedparole board member Monica Edmonds.
"Absolutely, " McCafferty replied, adding her son and daughterwere physically and verbally abused as well. "I don’t think Irealized the magnitude of it."
It was one month before the fatal shooting that McCafferty saidthe abuse grew as his mother was on her death bed in hospicecare.
"He punched me. He kicked me. He strangled me. He hit me with abaseball bat," she told the board. "I knew it had escalated to alevel I couldn’t take anymore."
McCafferty said the turning point came when her husbanddiscovered that she’d contacted a lawyer about possiblygetting a divorce.
"All hell broke loose," she said.
On June 25, McCafferty recalled her husband became so enragedthat their daughter, Molly, called 911, later saying, "I think Idid a bad thing." She quoted her son, Patrick, stating,"We’ve got to stop them (the police from coming)."
When Fort Thomas police arrived at the family's home on MadonnaPlace, Cheryl met officers up the street from the home and toldofficers everything had calmed down.
Later that night, she said her husband pistol-whipped her, fireda shot near her and put the gun in her mouth.
"That was the point of no return," McCafferty stated.
Lying in bed with her husband pointing the gun in her side,McCafferty waited until he fell asleep, got the gun and beganbacking out of the bedroom on her hands and knees with the weaponpointed in his direction.
"What happened when you got the gun?" asked Edmonds.
"He woke up. He looked at me and he started to raise off thepillow," she said. "I just panicked and I shot him."
"Where did you hit him?" Edmonds asked.
"The head," said McCafferty.
Edmonds continued, "Did you know at that time he was dead or didyou just think that you had wounded him?"
"I knew it wasn’t good," she replied.
McCafferty was arrested, later convicted of 1st degreemanslaughter and sentenced to 18 years in prison if shedidn’t appeal the conviction. That meant she was eligible forparole when 20 percent of the sentence was served.
McCafferty said her mistake was trying to stay and work thingsout.
If released, she said she’ll live with her parents, workat BB Riverboats and counsel other women on domestic abuse.
"I don’t want the death to be in vain," she said. "I wantto help other women."
Asked by parole board member Shannon Jones if she wasremorseful, McCafferty answered she was each and every day.
"I’ll never be free of the burden and the guilt of whatI’ve done," she said.