Florida woman arrested for handing ex-husband's guns over to the police to be charged for trespassing instead of theft
The woman, named Courtney Irby was initially set to face some serious charges after she was arrested last month. Her arrest prompted a lot of outrage and fueled debates on gun ownership, domestic violence, and safety.
The theft and burglary charges against a Florida woman who took her ex-husband's guns to the cops have been reduced to misdemeanor trespassing, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.
The woman, named Courtney Irby was initially set to face some serious charges after she was arrested last month. The 33-year-old had taken the firearms and handed them over to the cops after he had been charged with domestic violence and had also attempted to run her over with his car. She spent five days in jail.
After her husband was charged and was in police custody, she had gone to his apartment, collected his guns and taken them to the authorities. She had said that since she knew he wouldn't do it, she had to. The original charges received widespread criticism on the grounds that it created a comparison between gun ownership and domestic violence safety. State Attorney Brian Haas, however, said at a news conference in Bartow that the case was more about a messy divorce than either of those issues and the marital discord was leading to charges against both spouses, Associated Press reported.
The prosecutor said that the husband Joseph Irby will also face an aggravated battery charge for hitting his wife's car. "This is case of a highly contested divorce, escalating to the point of husband and wife being charged with crimes," Haas said. He added that taking the guns hadn't been the reason why she had gone to his apartment and that they had only been an afterthought.
She had been given a temporary injunction for protection against her husband. She had said that she was terrified because of his texts but did not mention the guns at the time. She had decided that she and her kids should leave the area and Irby had visited her husband's home to get a luggage key. Her husband had allegedly "cleaned out" their account and because of the irritation, she had taken two watches and a GoPro camera, and other items that were her children's. She wanted to sell them and that was when she also took two guns.
At the time of her arrest, State Rep. Anna Eskamani tweeted that her arrest was "ridiculous." Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting, called it "horrific."