Chesterfield woman testifies that estranged husband murdered boyfriend, shot and paralyzed her

Posted at 8:20 PM, Jul 29, 2019

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The murder trial of a Chesterfield man accused of shooting his estranged wife and killing her boyfriend last summer is now underway.

Before noon, a jury of 12 women and two men were picked.

Sarah Federico, the estranged wife of Joshua, testified she woke up August 23, 2018 and watched as her boyfriend Lawrence Howell staggered into the house, collapsed and died.

Moments later, Federico said her estranged husband Joshua was in the house and fired one shot, hitting her in her right arm.

Sarah testified that Joshua said he wasn't going to kill her, but that he was going to make it look like she and Lawrence had shot each other by making her scratch Lawrence his face and fire a gun with her left hand.

A short time later, she said she was shot again.

It was just after 3 a.m. When Sarah said she ran out of the house and made her way to a neighbor. While on the neighbor's deck, she was shot in the back.

She is now paralyzed.

The defense cross-examined Sarah Federico, asking "why she didn't shoot Joshua when he handed her a gun," and asking her about the different caliber shell casings found inside the home.

The defense presented a pre-nuptial agreement signed before their 2012 wedding listing Joshua's assets at nearly two million dollars. Sarah's was just under 40 thousand.

Other testimony included the first officer to reach Sarah after the shooting and his body cam footage, which was so graphic that at times, some jurors had to look away.

The couple separated in April of 2018 after Sarah testified she met Lawrence Howell in Florida.

By the end of the month, she had moved out and Lawrence had moved in with her. His burned body was discovered a few days after the shooting.\

Joshua Federico was on the run for three days before his capture.

Sarah also testified she was two weeks pregnant at the time of the shooting.



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