DMV Daycare Owner Shanteari Weems 'Snapped' When She Shot Her Husband After She Learned He Was Abusi
Shanteari Weems viewed she and her husband as crusaders for at-risk kids, but when she discovered her spouse was molesting the children in her care, she says, "I snapped", WUSA9 reports.
Source: South_agency / Getty
Weems reportedly shot her husband twice in an upscale D.C. hotel room. She was in a fit of rage and brokenness after learning he molested four children that attended her daycare. For the first time since Superior Court Judge Michael O'Keefe sentenced her to four years, Shanteari is speaking out. The sentencing shocked the defense and prosecutors, who recommended nearly half the amount of time in a plea deal.
#EXCLUSIVE - Daycare owner who shot husband at DC hotel tells @BruceLeshan - she "snapped."
Shanteari Weems was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
James Weems is a retired Baltimore cop, charged with 33 counts of rape and child sex crimes. He's awaiting trial. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/WLW8ySTp9c
— Lorenzo Hall (@LorenzoHall) March 9, 2023
When the case first gained media attention, the internet immediately came to Weems' defense and implored the judge to release her using the hashtag #FreeShanteari. Many of her supporters regard her as an "avenging angel" and hero who performed an act of justice. They were stunned at the ruling since they expected her to be released for time served.
When Shanteari heard she received four years behind bars, she said, "I was emotional."
Shanteari Weems Reflects On Discovering That Her Husband Abused Children At Her Daycare
According to WUSA9, the judge said her crime was premeditated, not spontaneous. The former daycare owner reportedly sent a text message to her business partner and friend stating,
"I'm going to kill him and then myself."
Shanteari Weems will likely spend more time in prison than her husband, a retired Baltimore cop, who she shot after he was accused of molesting children at her daycare center. https://t.co/41yWMsalMP
— RiShawn Biddle (@dropoutnation) March 11, 2023
Initially, when allegations were brought against her husband, James Weems, she believed her life partner when he said they were false.
"The only person I had to find out information from was my husband and he kept saying he didn't do it." Shanteari says, "I just...I trusted him fully. He always told me that he was my protector."
It wasn't until Shanteari met with one of the alleged victims' mothers did she believe the child abuse claims.
"I saw the pain in her face and I knew that she was not lying" she confesses. She said it felt as if, "all of the blood had drained from my body" and "her world had ended".
"Prosecutors have charged (her husband) James Weems, a retired police officer, with 33 counts of rape and child sex crimes. He's awaiting trial, and his lawyer, Thomas Plavanic, is declining to comment to reporters."
FREE HER #FreeShanteari https://t.co/5SyHItjtVJ
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) March 10, 2023
The news shook Shanteari so badly that she took her first drink in 20 years.
She said she and her husband, a former police officer and Marine, would often speak about the horrors of child molestation. Shanteari couldn't fathom her husband actively participating in abusing the children that he promised to protect.
The Day The Daycare Owner Became The "Avenging Angel"
On July 21, 2022, she proceeded to the then Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Southwest, D.C., with a handgun. Shanteari says she and her husband were like fuel in the midst of the fiery altercation.
"We got to arguing, fussing and one thing led to another."
The confrontation ended with bullets in her husband's neck and thigh and Shanteari leaving in a police car. She contends that she is "not a violent person" and simply "snapped."
https://t.co/jnWaKLzjNk Denied Bail after shooting her ex cop husband who was MOLESTING children at her daycare ?? she was doing a service #freeher #FreeShanteari pic.twitter.com/kyN5xRBssR
— Fly Fab Fit ? ?? (@KimaFlyFabFit) March 11, 2023
"Despite my surroundings, I'm doing OK," the former correctional officer said. "I have a lot of supporters and people who uplift me and help me survive."
Shanteari says she often thinks of the children her husband allegedly abused. The 50-year-old is determined to make lemonade out of lemons after serving her time. She plans to start a non-profit to fight child abuse when she is released from prison
When asked if she would ever apologize to her husband, she said,
"I will apologize when he apologizes to those children".
Do you think a four-year sentence is a miscarriage of justice, or did Judge O'Keefe get it right?