Suspended District Judge Arrested for Allegedly Shooting Sleeping Boyfriend, Blaming Victim

PHOTO: SEAN SIMMERS/THE PATRIOT-NEWS VIA AP

A district judge who had been suspended from her duties was apprehended over the weekend on accusations of shooting her boyfriend in the face while he was asleep, subsequently attempting to shift the blame onto him.

The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office disclosed that in the early hours of Saturday, February 10, officers from the Susquehanna Township Police Department rushed to the victim’s residence on Saddle Ridge Drive in Harrisburg following a report of a shooting incident.

Allegedly, Sonya McKnight, as per the district attorney’s office, fired a gunshot at the man’s head. The bullet trajectory was described as entering the right side of the victim’s face, traversing through his head in a straight line behind and slightly below his eyes, and exiting the left side of his face.

Fortunately, the victim survived the ordeal but has been left blind in one eye.

As per McKnight’s arrest affidavit cited by The Associated Press, the victim, Michael McCoy, had ended the relationship with McKnight and had made numerous attempts to compel her to vacate the premises. On the evening of February 9, upon returning home from dinner, McCoy purportedly found McKnight lounging on his couch in her nightwear.

Allegedly, he informed her of his intention to contact her mother for assistance in relocating her belongings, feeling that she finally grasped that the relationship was over. At approximately 1 a.m., McCoy reportedly woke up in excruciating head pain, leading to him screaming out in distress due to his sudden loss of vision. McKnight allegedly responded by asking, “Mike, what did you do to yourself?”, NBC News and CBS News

McKnight dialed 911 and claimed she “could not explain what happened and stated that she was sleeping and heard him screaming.” According to reports from CBC, McKnight informed investigators that she did not leave the residence on the night of the shooting, but surveillance footage from the doorbell purportedly captured her outside. McCoy claimed he believed McKnight had followed him to the restaurant where he had dinner that night.

Allegedly, gunshot residue was found on McKnight’s hands. McKnight was taken into custody on February 15 on charges of criminal attempted murder and aggravated assault. Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo recused himself from the case due to McKnight’s position as a magisterial district judge in the county, while the Pennsylvania Attorney General also abstained from involvement due to a conflict of interest. According to The Associated Press, McKnight had been suspended in November following several allegations of misconduct.

In 2019, McKnight was cleared in the shooting of her estranged husband, who was shot in the groin, Penn Live reported. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges, citing self-defense.

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