Three years ago, Leah held her estranged husband, Ed, at gunpoint and fired five shots at close range. Ed survived, and Leah is serving four years in prison. Dr. Phil goes behind bars to speak with Leah. What reason does she give for shooting Ed?
A Marriage Gone Terribly Wrong
In September 2010, in the midst of a contentious divorce, Leah held her estranged husband and father of her three children, Ed, at gunpoint and fired five shots at close range, leaving bullets lodged in his throat and shoulder. Ed survived the attack, and Leah pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree felonious assault and one count of third-degree felony abduction and is currently serving four years in prison. Dr. Phil visits Leah in prison in search of answers.
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Leah tells Dr. Phil when her marriage started to show its flaws. And, why does Leah say she felt she was forced to get a gun for protection against Ed?
In a previous interview, Ed recalls the events of that fateful day: He says that Leah invited him over to talk about the divorce. He says they spoke for about an hour before she pulled out the gun and held him at gunpoint while fielding calls from her boyfriend, Mark, an ex-cop. He says he saw Leah nodding while on the phone with Mark and believed that they had agreed she should shoot him. “He called her three times telling her, ‘Hurry up and do it. If you don’t do it, I’m coming there and doing it,’” he alleges. Before she pulled the trigger, Ed says he heard Mark say, “I win.” He continues, “My life was a game to him.” Ed says when the gun misfired, he ran to the bedroom, but Leah continued to shoot four more times.
“That’s not the way that it happened, exactly,” Leah says of calling Ed to the apartment that day. “There were three hours of discussion and arguing back and forth … I felt backed into a corner.”
“Did he hit you
?” Dr. Phil asks her.
“Did he pull a gun on you
“Do you feel used?” he asks Leah.
“Yes,” she says. “I was caught in the middle of a love triangle.” She says she chose to shoot her husband instead of her then-boyfriend, Mark, because, “I thought my lover was trying to save me. I thought my lover cared deeply about me.”
“It seems to me you had a lot of options available to you, short of shooting your husband in the face with a gun,” Dr. Phil tells Leah.
Leah says that she didn’t think it through.
“When you make that choice, you are choosing for your children to end up in foster care,” Dr. Phil says. “That’s a really dumb choice.”
Why did Leah pick up the gun that day? “I was backed in a corner, and I had to protect myself and my family.”
"Why did you shoot your husband in the face?"
Leah swears that there was no premeditation involved, and as soon she shot Ed, she called 911 immediately. She recalls that she felt “instant horror, terror and remorse."
“Were you sorry?” Dr. Phil asks.
“Are you sorry today?” he asks.
Leah says she doesn’t believe that she was brainwashed but was “highly encouraged” and under a lot of stress. “But I was the one who pulled the trigger,” she admits.
Leah says that Ed had been stalking, harassing and terrorizing her.
“So, you think, ‘I think I’ll go one on one with him alone?’” Dr. Phil asks.
Leah says she was never able to convince Ed of anything in their marriage, so she’s not sure why she thought she’d be able to on that day.
“What could go wrong?” Dr. Phil asks, sarcastically.
“Everything could go wrong,” she says. “But I was just going to talk him out of stalking me. It didn’t turn out like that … It just got more and more heated — and here I am.”
Is Leah considering reconciling with Ed?
Did Leah cheat on Ed? “I totally went promiscuous.” And, Leah reveals what she believes to be her true prison.
“I did it, and I can’t change it,” Leah says. “All I can do is make the best of what happened.”
Leah says Ed was a pathological liar and an addictive gambler who had a key made to her apartment and came in without her knowledge. She says he regularly threatened to take their children. She says when she told him that she had a restraining order taken out, he said, “The law can’t even stop me.”
Dr. Phil tells Leah that, regardless, her solution was “flawed logic.”
“I would give up my life to do it all over again,” Leah says. “But, that’s not an option. All we can do is learn from it and become stronger than we ever were before.”
Dr. Phil gives Leah instructions on how to move forward from this near-tragedy. “You have to own it, and you have to articulate why.”
Click here for Part 2: "My Wife Shot Me in the Head"