US & World

Woman Accused Of Turning In Husband's Guns To The Police Will Face Misdemeanor Charge

Courtney Irby is charged with misdemeanor trespassing in connection with guns owned by her estranged husband. A member of her family told local media that Irby had feared for her life.
Courtney Irby is charged with misdemeanor trespassing in connection with guns owned by her estranged husband. A member of her family told local media that Irby had feared for her life.
/Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP

The Florida state attorney's office says a woman who turned her husband's guns in to authorities will face a misdemeanor trespassing charge, and that she will not be charged with burglary.

Her husband was under arrest for domestic violence charges, accused of ramming her car with his, when the woman brought his guns to police.

Police had originally charged Courtney Irby, 32, with armed burglary and grand theft after she took her husband's guns from his home and gave them to police. She spent six days in jail on the charges.

The couple was divorcing, and Ms. Irby had obtained a temporary injunction against her husband, Joseph Irby, 35.

NPR's Sasha Ingber reported that Ms. Irby's family says she "took the weapons to police out of fear for her and her children's safety. 'My sister was hysterical,' Haley Burke told a local news site. 'She knew that this just poked the bear, and he would be coming after her.' "

Ms. Irby's arrest sparked outrage and criticism that it would discourage victims of domestic violence from going to the police.

State Attorney Brian Haas said the case was about "a highly contested divorce, escalating to the point of husband and wife being charged with crimes," the AP reported.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani tweeted a statement reading:

"We want domestic violence survivors to trust law enforcement, and to feel comfortable reporting a crime. As Mr. Haas mentioned in his remarks we can always do better when it comes to supporting survivors of domestic violence. I'll add that we each play a role in community safety, and empowering those who so often do not have a voice."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.