Cheryl McCafferty To Stay In Prison At Least Through 2016
Tom McKee, firstname.lastname@example.org
8:00 PM, Jan 17, 2011
7:05 PM, Jan 18, 2011
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky's nine-member Parole Board Tuesday rejected CherylMcCafferty's request to be released on parole.
The Fort Thomas mother of two has served more than three yearsof an 18-year sentence for killing her husband, Robert, at theirhome in 2007.
The board voted 6-3 to keep her incarcerated for at least fivemore years. She's next eligible for parole in 2016.
Six members voted for McCafferty to spend another 60 months inthe Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women at Pewee Valley.Three suggested two more years.
Lisa Lamb, Director of Communications for the KentuckyDepartment of Corrections, said the board's decision was based onthree factors: a life was taken, the seriousness of the crime andthe fact that a weapon was used.
Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney Michelle Snodgrass termedthe decision appropriate.
However, Cheryl McCafferty's parents, Tom and Betty Gosney, saidit continues to punish a victim of domestic violence.
They also pointed fingers at Fort Thomas Police, questioningwhether the tragedy could have been avoided.
When McCafferty testified before two members of the Parole Boardlast week, she said she had no choice but to shoot on June 25,2007, because her husband had beaten her, fired a gun at her headand threatened to kill their son and daughter after learning Cherylhad contacted a divorce lawyer.
"It wasn't a conscious decision," she stated. "It was a womanacting to save the lives of my children."
However, Snodgrass, whose prosecution convinced the jury toconvict McCafferty of first degree manslaughter, wasn't moved bythat claim.
"All I can say is there was one victim of this crime and thatvictim was Robert McCafferty. It was not Cheryl McCafferty" saidSnodgrass. "Robert McCafferty did not need to die. I've said thatfrom the beginning. There was no justification for hiskilling."
Snodgrass said she spoke Tuesday with Robert McCafferty's familyand they expressed relief at the parole board's decision..
"I think they are finally relieved that they know that they'regoing to deal with their loss -- to deal with what has happened --and to start putting their lives back together," she remarked.
However, the Gosneys issued a statement in which they wereextremely critical of the ruling.
"We should be ashamed of ourselves as a society, when wecontinue to punish the victims of domestic violence," the Gosneyswrote.
They said 18 hours before the fatal gunshot was fired, FortThomas Police were called to the McCafferty house
Betty Gosney called 911 after the McCafferty's daughter, Molly,called her and said, "Daddy's gone crazy again."
"The police came. They didn't investigate. They didn't doanything. They left." Cheryl told Parole Board members MonicaEdmonds and Shannon Jones.
The Gosney's statement continued, "One can only question if theoutcome of this tragedy could have been avoided if the Fort ThomasDepartment had responded with appropriate procedure eighteen hoursbefore the shooting occurred."
They added, "The officers failed to go to the residence of 70Madonna, and did not interview either Robert or Molly McCaffertywho were the subjects of the call. This is a violation of training,procedure and methods required for police officers whileinvestigating an emergency."
"The Gosney family, does, however, wish to thank the hundreds ofsupporters of Cheryl, Molly and Patrick. Please keep them in yourprayers and may we all continue to promote further education indomestic violence to protect the many who are still at risk."
Cheryl McCafferty, in her January 13th testimony, said whenofficers arrived, she and her son met them up their street and awayfrom their house because they were scared.
"They asked me if I was OK and I said, 'It's OK now. It's calmeddown,’'' she stated. "They asked Patrick, 'Is everything allright?' He said, 'Well, it's OK, but if you come it won't be.'"
Campbell County's Snodgrass responded for herself and FortThomas Police due to other pending legal matters in the case.
"It's unfortunate that the family is trying to find someone elseto blame, but I think the reality of it is there's only one personto blame and that was Cheryl McCafferty," Snodgrass said. "She'sthe one who made the choice on June 25th of 2007."
Snodgrass continued, "In a situation like this, taking anotherperson's life should always be a last resort. There were too manychoices that were available to Cheryl McCafferty and she didn'ttake those choices that were available to her."