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17 Feb 2024
Olivia Rondeau

NextImg:Police: Pennsylvania Judge Shot Ex-Boyfriend in Head While He Slept

A Pennsylvania judge is accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend in the head while he slept — just a few years after being cleared of criminal intent for shooting her ex-husband.

Michael McCoy, 54, is now blind in one eye after being shot in his Harrisburg-area home on February 9, reports the New York Post

Dauphin County Magisterial District Judge Sonya M. McKnight, 57, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated assault, court records show.

A Susquehanna Township Police arrest affidavit obtained by the outlet stated that McCoy had made “numerous” attempts to end the year-long relationship with his live-in girlfriend when she allegedly tried to kill him. 

“McCoy had returned home from a tavern to find McKnight relaxing on his couch in her pajamas and again told her she needed to leave, saying he would enlist the help of her mother to get her out of his home if he had to,” the Post reported of that Friday’s events. “She allegedly agreed to go.”

“Michael McCoy stated that it was like she finally understood that it was over,” police said in the affidavit.

McCoy then went to bed around 11:00 p.m. with the understanding that McKnight realized that the pair were broken up.

Sometime later that night, he woke up with a “massive head pain” and could not see.

While he screamed in pain, McKnight reportedly came into the bedroom and asked, “Mike, what did you do to yourself?” 

The judge called 911 shortly before 1:00 a.m. reporting McCoy’s injuries, but police said she “could not explain what happened and stated that she was sleeping and heard him screaming.”

A gunshot wound to McCoy’s right temple that had exited his left temple was found after first responders rushed him to the hospital.

The bullet left him blind in his right eye.

The affidavit also stated that a gun registered to McKnight was discovered at the scene, and her hands were positive for gunshot residue.

McCoy also asserted multiple times that he had not shot himself.

The ex-lovers both said that no one else was home at the time of the incident. 

While McKnight claimed to police that she did not leave the house that night, this was disputed with footage from a neighbor’s security camera showing the judge leaving the home at some point.

According to McCoy, his ex-girlfriend may have followed him to the tavern before he returned. 

McKnight has since been suspended from her judiciary duties and is being held at the Dauphin County Prison with a $300,000 bail.

To avoid a prosecutorial conflict of interest, the case will be heard in the neighboring county of Cumberland. 

In August 2019, McKnight was cleared of criminal intent in the shooting of her estranged husband, Enoch McKnight, reported PennLive. 

Following a long series of domestic disputes, police calls, and protection orders, the judge shot her husband in the groin while he was helping her move furniture at her home. 

Upon reviewing the case, the attorney general’s office declined to file criminal charges, citing self-defense.

“We can confirm the investigation is closed, and no charges have been filed,” said Jacklin Rhoads, an office spokeswoman.

“The Office of Attorney General completed a careful review of the evidence in this case, including but not limited to interviewing all witnesses, analyzing phone data and records, reviewing crime scene evidence as well as surveillance and reenactment videos,” she added.

“We found that Ms. McKnight acted in self-defense, which is why our office did not file charges.”

Mcknight faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of her new first-degree attempted murder charge, according to the New York Post