Divorce lawyer: Shooting victim was ‘extremely scared’ of estranged husband

Posted at 7:00 PM, Aug 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 19:15:26-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- As officers search for the estranged husband of a woman who was shot multiple times early Friday morning in Chesterfield County, court documents reveal the suspect filed for divorce in June.

Police said 44-year-old Joshua M. Federico is wanted for malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after police responded to a shooting call along the 13700 block of Second Branch Road around 3:40 a.m.

"Police responded for a report of a female with multiple gunshot wounds. The female was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. "At this time, this incident does not appear to be random."

Police have not released the woman's name.

Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett there was an additional fatality as a result of this shooting.

Police have not confirmed a fatality, but have issued an alert for the injured woman's boyfriend.

"The investigation indicates that Lawrence J. Howell, 38, may also have been injured in the shooting," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. "Howell, who lives at the residence in the 13700 block of Second Branch Road, has not been located and his condition is unknown at this time."

Joshua M. Federico

Joshua M. Federico

Court documents: Suspect filed for divorce

Court records show Federico filed for divorce June 12, 2018, claiming his wife of six years committed adultery on several occasions. The couple was married on August 31, 2012.

In a cross-complaint she neither admitted nor denied the allegations but called for “strict proof" and moved out of their home in April 13, 2018.

“The plaintiff [Joshua Federico] has been guilty of extreme cruelty to the defendant, has caused her to have a car accident, has belittled her, has tried to ruin her financially, has stolen her money and her cell phone and wanted her to leave him,” court documents stated.

The victim’s attorney said she feared for her client’s safety and that her client was "extremely scared" of the suspect.

Divorce Court Filing

Divorce Court Filing

In fact, WTVR CBS 6 has learned the victim filed a protective order against Federico in April when she moved.

Additionally, friends said the victim’s house was broken into earlier this month and that her safe, computers and gun was stolen among other things.

A friend of the suspect told reporter Laura French that he texted with Federico recently and he indicated that he was going through a difficult time.

Friends said Federico has a teenage son and daughter from a previous marriage. Court document show the suspect and victim did not have kids together.

Friends also told French the victim loved horses and owned Blackwater Stables where she had loyal following with her young riders.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video here. Depend on CBS 6 News and for complete coverage of this important local story. 

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