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Catina Curley trial: Was wife justified in killing her husband?

The case has implications for domestic abuse victims across Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS — A rare late-night court case wrapped up on Tuesday that centers around a woman who shot and killed her husband more than a decade ago. 

An Orleans Parish Criminal District judge now has to decide if Catina Curley, who was sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband Renaldo Curley in 2005, will walk free.

That decision, made by Judge Arthur Hunter, will be handed down Friday, and could end a case that has continued for years. 

Hunter heard from several witnesses and experts who talked in detail about what happened the night of the murder.

They also talked about the brutal times Curley, who is currently out on bond, was beaten by her husband.

The prosecutor said there may have been times where she was abused but that she had not been hit on the night of the murder. The defense claims all of the years of alleged torment is what led up to that night.

Curley's family told Eyewitness News they're hopeful that she'll be able to walk free.

Shortly before Curley walked out, the family remembers of her husband also left the courthouse.

The shooting happened back in march 2005. Curley told police that she was trying to leave their house after an argument. She was scared he was going to beat her, so she grabbed a revolver that was in the house, she said. She claims the gun accidentally went off and he was shot in the chest.

She was found guilty of murder, but during an appeal the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned her decision, saying her first attorneys were ineffective for failing to look at cases of domestic violence or consult experts about domestic violence and the effects it can have on victims.

“I mean, anybody gonna get what’s suppose coming to them if you been brutally abused from beginning to end. With a 26 year marriage. Two kids. Living and doing right. Never really cheated on you. And I keep beating everyday; when will the change come?" said NeNe Casame, goddaughter of Catina Curley, 

“It happened fourteen year ago. We keep on reliving it. It’s a repeated cycle. We just want the justice to get it over with. My daddy. He tired of going through it. Like he said, it don’t make a different whether she here or not here. He just wants the justice for his son,” Siless Johnson, sister of Renaldo Curley, said. 

Hunter will make a decision and have a verdict on Friday by noon. There's no jury in this new trial, only a judge.

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