Pennsylvania Judge Allegedly Shoots Her Ex-Boyfriend in the Head

Posted by Joseph Lento | Apr 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Break-ups are never easy. But if one person becomes violent in the wake of a break-up, it can be downright terrifying for the other person. A judge in Pennsylvania who refused to accept that her boyfriend was breaking up with her allegedly turned to violence. 

If you are experiencing abuse or violence in your relationship or feel threatened by it, you should file for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order. The LLF Law Firm Family Law Team can assist you with filing for one and ensure you get the protection you need. Call 888-535-3686 or submit your information in our online form to schedule a consultation.  

Judge Accused of Shooting Her Ex-Boyfriend 

In February, a Pennsylvania Magisterial District Judge, Sonya M. McKnight, was charged with shooting her ex-boyfriend as he slept. The victim, Michael McCoy, told police he had been trying to end his relationship with McKnight and had asked her to move out of his home. But McKnight wouldn't leave and didn't seem to accept the fact that McCoy had broken up with her until he told her that he would contact her mother to help him remove McKnight from his home. On the night McCoy told her this, he left to go to a bar, came home later, and went to bed. He woke up with severe pain in his head and was unable to see. He had been shot in the face. 

McKnight said she didn't know what had happened and proceeded to call 911 for McCoy. Later, police learned that the gun used to shoot Michael McCoy in the head was registered to Sonya McKnight, and the gun residue was found on her hands an hour after the incident. McKnight was taken to Dauphin County Prison with a bail of $300,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled. 

Break-Ups Are a Dangerous Time for Domestic Violence 

When one partner in a domestic relationship tries to end things, it can result in violence or abusive behavior. A break-up can be one of the most volatile times for an abusive partner, making them more likely to attack the other partner who is trying to end the relationship. The abusive partner might refuse to accept the break-up or have such a hard time dealing with their emotions that they lash out. In the case of Sonya M. McKnight, it appears as though she was refusing to let the relationship end, despite her ex-boyfriend McCoy telling her repeatedly that he wanted to break up and asking her to move out. 

If you feel threatened by your significant other, you should take action. McKnight may not have exhibited violent or abusive behavior in the past, perhaps making McCoy feel like he wasn't in any danger. However, asking a romantic partner to move out or ending the relationship and having them refuse is usually a sign that danger is on its way.  

At the LLF Law Firm, our team can help you get the protection you need from a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or intimate partner by filing for a PFA. Call our firm at 888-535-3686 or fill out our contact form with your information, and we'll reach out to you. 

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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