Jason Phillabaum, Shearer’s attorney, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf during a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal court.
He said Shearer was chased outside the home on the night of the fatal shooting by her ex-husband and she couldn’t “escape” because his van was blocking her Nissan Altima that was parked in the driveway.
When the couple went back inside around 8:30 p.m., Dawn Shearer, a licensed CCW owner, shot her ex-husband in the living room, police said.
Anthony “Tony” Shearer was shot and killed in Middletown in February.
Dawn Shearer told police she and her ex-husband, Anthony “Tony” Shearer, had been arguing and she “made a decision that was not wise,” Middletown Police Detective Beth Stewart said during the February hearing.
MORE: Neighbors in disbelief after Middletown man shot to death
When police arrived, they found the Shearer residence in some disarray. There was patching on the walls, a wooden box was broken and a gun-cleaning kit was scattered around, Stewart said.
Shearer said her ex-husband “had a nervous breakdown,” the detective said during the February hearing.
Tanya Shearer, Tony’s sister-in-law, said she never heard or saw any type of abuse.
“I am so shocked at this,” Tanya Shearer said. “Tony was a great guy, very loving and kid-friendly. My children loved their uncle Tony.”
MORE: Gun, clothes and blood samples taken from Middletown home
Neighbors also told police they heard a disturbance at the home and saw Dawn Shearer running around her vehicle just prior to the shooting, according to Stewart.
After the hearing, defense attorney Jason Phillabaum said evidence will show a long history of domestic violence, with Dawn Shearer being the victim.
“She had a tough decision to make that day to either get injured or defend herself,” Phillabaum said, adding the gun used in the shooting belonged to Tony Shearer. “I think there is going to be information presented eventually that there were guns pointed at her, put against her at various times and that they were both going for the gun and she got to it first.”
Tony Shearer was found in the living room of the residence. He had suffered on gunshot wound to the head, according to police and the Butler County Coroner’s Office.
Family members of Tony Shearer say he was a hard-working man who loved his nieces and nephews and wanted to make everyone laugh. They are shocked by the allegations of abuse.