The Barnstable County grand jury is refusing to indict Ann Gryboski, a 51-year-old Cape Cod doctor, in the shooting death of her husband Patrick Lancaster. The jury cited evidence of domestic violence (both psychological and physical) after hearing testimony from 27 witnesses. Prosecutors have decided to drop the case.
Gryboski had been released on bail after she pled not guilty in April to murdering her husband. She showed up in court then with bruises around her mouth and swollen eyes. Her attorney has maintained that she acted in self-defense and to protect her son against her husband.
Gryboski had confessed to police that she killed Lancaster, who was a charter boat owner and builder, at their home on Easter. She says she had tried to intervene during an argument between her husband and one of their sons, who had asked his father about the bruises on her face.
She says that the night before she shot Lancaster, he had punched her repeatedly while she drove a motor vehicle. Their two-year-old grandchild was riding in the back seat.
Gryboski says she fired two shots at him as he approached her on Sunday.
Doctors who examined her after the murder found she was suffering from facial trauma and head trauma, in addition to a mild corneal abrasion and a chipped tooth. They also found that she previously had a nasal injury.
A defendant is not considered guilty of murder/attempted murder/manslaughter/attempted voluntary manslaughter if he or she had justifiable cause to kill or try to kill someone as an act of self-defense or to defend someone else. A murder can also be considered justifiable homicide if it was done to prevent another serious crime from being committed or as part of one’s duty as a soldier or police officer.
Just because you have been charged with a crime does not mean you will be found guilty. A good criminal defense lawyer can build a solid defense for you and ensure that you are not unfairly convicted for a crime.
Prisonactivtist.org offers a number of facts about women as victims of domestic violence, including:
* Each day in the U.S., between 5 and 11 women are killed by a male intimate partner, between 1800 and 4000 per year.
* In the U.S. women are more likely to be killed by their male intimate partners than all other homicide categories combined.
* 90% of women murdered are killed by men, men who are most often a family member, spouse or ex-partner.
*Studies show that the vast majority of women who kill their abusers do so as a last resort in defense of their own lives and/or the lives of their children, and that many have stayed with abusive partners because they have been beaten trying to escape or because they rightly feared an attempt at escape would cause their partner to retaliate with violence.
*Between 2.1 and 8 million women are abused by their partners annually in the U.S. At least every 15 seconds, a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend.
*The Surgeon General has reported for at least 10 years that battering is the single largest cause of injury to U.S. women.
Grand jury declines to indict Cape Cod doctor in husband’s death, Boston.com/AP, August 17, 2007
Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another, Justia.com
Self-Defense is Not a Crime, Prisonactivist.org
Related Web Resource:
Dr. Ann Gryboski Arrives at District Court, Hyannisnews.com, April 9, 2007
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