Shanteari Weems, a Baltimore woman sentenced to four years in jail after she learned her husband was accused of molesting children at the daycare she owned, spoke out for the very first time behind bars.
During an interview inside D.C.’s Correctional Treatment Facility with WUSA 9, Weems revealed why she shot her husband in the neck and thigh after a parent she trusted said he abused her kid.
“I snapped, ” Weems said. “I snapped, I’m not a violent person.”
After hearing a painful experience from a parent that alleged James Weems, Shanteari’s husband and partner in her daycare, of sexually abusing a child at her facility, she was heartbroken.
“I saw the pain in her face, and I knew she was not lying,” she said. “She finally said it was my husband.”
On July 21, 2022, their lives took a violent turn when Shanteari confronted her husband with a gun inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Southwest, D.C. She shot him twice before barricading herself on the 8th floor of the hotel causing a standoff with authorities.
RELATED: Baltimore Woman Pleads Guilty To Shooting Husband Over Child Sex Abuse Claims
“He was supposed to help me protect these children. He always told me he was my protector. So when I heard this, I just felt like – I just felt like my world had ended,” she said.
Case reports reviewed by WTOP News highlight that before authorities forced their entry into the hotel room, Weems told police, “If you come in, I’m going to shoot myself.”
A confiscated notebook allegedly included handwritten documents with phrases that read, “I’m going to shoot (the victim), but not kill him,” “I’m going to paralyze you,” and “My only regret is that I didn’t put a bullet in your head.”
The owner of Lil Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills is now facing a four year sentence from Superior Court Judge Michael O’Keefe. According to WUSA 9, this is twice what prosecutors recommended in a plea deal on charges of aggravated assault and carrying a pistol without a license.
James Weems is awaiting trial. The retired police officer has been charged with 33 counts of rape and child sex crimes.
Despite the judge ruling Shanteari’s bullet-ridden revenge against her husband was premeditated and not spontaneous, supporters have started the hashtag #FREESHANTEARI.
Days before the shooting, police told Shanteari they were investigating the child abuse allegations against her husband and they would have to shut down her daycare, Asst. U.S. Attorney La Vater Massie-Banks told WUSA 9.
“We were both supposed to be on this crusade of saving children, and child molestation is something that we had talked about all the time, how horrible it was,” Weems told reporter Bruce Leshan. “I think about that child all the time. I think about all the children all the time.”
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