A woman accused of shooting her husband over child sex abuse allegations entered a plea Monday.
Shanteari Weems, 50, pleaded guilty to intentionally shooting her husband, James Weems Jr.
According to her attorney, the fact that she shot her husband twice may not have convinced a jury it was in self-defense. She pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and carrying a pistol without a DC license.
“Even in a situation where you shoot a person that you believe is coming at you to harm you, there was a second shot, and that second shot can be argued one way or another in front of a jury, and she did not want to take that kind of risk,” said Tony Garcia, Shanteari Weems’ attorney.
Shanteari Weems shot her husband once in the neck and leg after confronting him on July 21 at a Washington, DC, hotel about allegations that he sexually abused children at her day care, Lil Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills.
“She was confronted at a very emotional, momentary, shocking moment by the parents of the children that her husband had molested,” Garcia said. “That she let those children, that those children got hurt on her watch, she has extreme, extreme remorse for that.”
Investigators found a notebook in which Shanteari Weems wrote she intended to paralyze her husband, not kill him.
“She wrote a note because she thought he wasn’t going to make it. She thought that she wasn’t going to survive that evening. So she wrote a note,” Garcia said. “In that note, she wrote that she had no intention of killing him at all, but she did have an intention to stop him from molesting more children.”
James Weems Jr. was arrested, charged and denied bail on charges of sexually abusing three children at his wife’s day care.
Investigators said he inappropriately touched the children and committed sexual acts. The children are a 12-year-old and a 10-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. Investigators said James Weems asked the girls to take explicit photos of themselves, and he’s accused of showing porn to one child.
The children explained the incidents happened on the day care bus and a playground on the day care property.
“She never wants to stop fighting for these kids and she had to stop a child molester,” Garcia said.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 3, 2023. The government is seeking two years in prison and three years of probation. Garcia said he will argue for less time, saying his client has no priors, is a former corrections officer and a successful business owner.