AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. -- On Wednesday, Debra Washington was sentenced to 23 years in prison for shooting and killing her husband, Clarence Washington, in 2011. Debra Washington faced three charges, including second degree murder.
Debra Washington cried during her sentencing and asked her late husband's family for forgiveness. She said she regretted killing Clarence Washington, despite years of domestic abuse.
Family and friends from both sides of the case were at Augusta County's Circuit Court. Doctors and friends testified about Debra Washington's mental health and ongoing domestic abuse.
Attorneys on both sides in this case spoke about the sentencing.
“It's hard to know what the judge is thinking. I had the same thought in my mind when we left the courtroom,” said Thomas Weidner IV, the defense attorney.
The Commonwealth's attorney described how the judge ruled in the case.
“The judge, based upon the victim's past criminal history, and based on what was going on between him and his wife, concluded that he was a bad man. So, that was the judge's right,” said Lee Ervin, the Augusta Commonwealth's attorney.
The judge handling the case called Debra Washington's husband a very bad man during sentencing. He faced felony charges before his wife shot him.
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