Middletown woman who shot and killed ex-husband was abused, acted in self defense, attorney says

Middletown woman who shot and killed ex-husband was abused, acted in self defense, attorney says
Posted at 12:29 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 12:29:39-04

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- Experts, including a medical professional, will testify a Middletown woman accused of killing her ex-husband was abused, her lawyer told The Journal-News.

The trial of Dawn Shearer, 48, of Ellis Way, will begin later this month. Shearer was arraigned Friday on charges of murder and felonious assault for allegedly fatally shooting Anthony Shearer on Feb. 6.

Jason Phillabaum, Shearer’s attorney, said he will call four experts during the trial, including a chiropractor who treated the woman for neck and leg injuries and learned she was abused.

"Throughout her treatment (with the chiropractor), she relayed the extensive abuse she received from Mr. Shearer,” defense attorney Jason Phillabaum wrote in court documents.

Dawn Shearer was arrested by Middletown Police minutes after calling 911 on Feb. 6. She told operators she shot her ex-husband. She was indicted last week by a Butler County grand jury.

During Shearer’s arraignment Thursday, Phillabaum said she will not waive her right to a speedy trial. That means she must have a trial within 90 days of arrest.

“I am ready,” Phillabaum said about starting the trial in two weeks.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser also said the prosecution is ready to proceed to trial.

“This case was ready to go to trial the day the indictment was released,” Gmoser said

Phillabaum said Shearer, a licensed concealed carry holder, acted in self-defense.

He said Shearer was chased outside the home on the night of the fatal shooting and she couldn’t "escape” because her ex-husband’s van was blocking her Nissan Altima in the driveway.

Tanya Shearer, Tony’s sister-in-law, previously said she never heard or saw any type of abuse.

“I am so shocked at this,” she said. “Tony was a great guy, very loving and kid-friendly. My children loved their uncle Tony.”

Shearer told police she and her ex-husband were arguing and she “made a decision that was not wise,” Middletown Police Detective Beth Stewart said during a February hearing.

When police arrived, they found the home in some disarray. There was patching on the walls, a wooden box was broken and a gun-cleaning kit was scattered around, Stewart said.

Shearer said her ex-husband “had a nervous breakdown,” the detective said during the February hearing.

Neighbors also told police they heard a disturbance and saw Dawn Shearer running around her vehicle just prior to the shooting, according to Stewart.

Tony Shearer was found in the living room of the residence. He had suffered on gunshot wound to the head, according to police and the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

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