Alicia Bartholomew, 26, is accused of shooting her husband James Bartholomew, 29, in the back about 7:30 pm on Friday. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police say a single shot was fired and hit Bartholomew in the spine. Doctors fear he may be paralysed.
It seems simple, but alas life is never simple. Alicia Bartholomew’s family says that is only a part of the story.
In court last Tues. Alicia Bartholomew said that she was also a victim. A victim of an abusive husband. Her mother has told media that Alicia and James Bartholomew were married for 10 years. And that 10 years of abuse is what led to the shooting of Bartholomew in the back.
“I knew she would shoot him in the back…so she wouldn’t have to face him…she still loved him.”
Alicia Bartholomew appeared in court by video link and told the court that she had tried to leave her husband recently. She told the court that she had reached out
“I was trying to to get out of the house, I just had talked to a Safe House lady trying to get out of the house.”
The Commonwealth’s Attorney has said the prior abuse allegations are known and are being investigated.
According to all reports, the two were at a local American Legion when witnesses say a physical argument developed in the parking lot. The two left there and apparently they went back to their apartment. There it is alleged they were each burning some items belonging to the other outside the complex.
According to a police report:
“The parties began to burn each other’s clothing in the courtyard of the complex and the dispute continued back into the apartment where the perpetrator smashed some electronic equipment and a computer belonging to the victim,” “The victim at some point produced a handgun but did not use it. He laid the handgun down, and the perpetrator picked up the weapon and shot the victim in the arm.”
Alicia Bartholomew’s mother has said that Alicia was finally standing up for herself.
James Bartholomew was taken to the hospital where he is reported to be in serious condition. Alicia Bartholomew has been given a $25,000 cash bond and ordered to stay away from her husband, family is trying to raise the money and trying to find her an attorney.
The couple’s 3 children- ages 5 years, 2 years, and 2 months were in their apartment at the time and were not harmed.
Alicia Bartholomew has been arrested and charged with first degree assault.
I don’t know if the allegations about James Bartholomew are true or not. I did a quick search of the newspaper archives to see if the names showed up, but got nothing. However, many times old news articles don’t get archived in a way that is searchable by search engine or they just go away. And many domestic violence reports and even arrests don’t make the news. Police are still investigating so more info could come out later.
In making a decision to stay or leave an abusive relationship, most people consider whether it is more dangerous for them to stay or leave. Some consider the well being of the children. But most don’t stop to think- what happens if they are put in the position of deadly force to defend themselves…. or what happens if it gets to the point where they break?
There is often a very fine line drawn on what is self defense. And though the ‘battered women’s syndrome’ is now accepted by the court, proving the accused suffered from it and that it led to the violence can be very difficult to do. So in making the decision, this should always be considered.
If a decision is made to leave, it is important to reach out to a domestic violence agency to develop a safety plan, and to follow through on the plan. And to not talk about it to anyone. Not the spouse or partner or even friends. Once in a place of safety, others can be notified.