Oklahoma Woman Acquitted In Husband's Death Wants Children Back

Friday, November 4th 2011, 7:30 pm
By: News 9

A jury found her not guilty of murder for shooting and killing her husband. But now an Oklahoma woman is fighting to get her children back. She is also facing a civil lawsuit filed by her dead husband's family.

Erica Strawn of Okemah spent more than 14 months behind bars for shooting and killing her husband in the summer of 2010. Now a free woman, she said she's still battling her in-laws to see her kids.

"I feel hurt and sad for my kids," said Strawn, during an interview at her attorney's office in Shawnee. "And I feel sad for myself and for everyone who doesn't get to see them. They've been ripped away from everybody that loves them."

"They never let the children see her while she was in jail," said Joe Freeman, Strawn's attorney. "And now here it is going on three months afterwards and they still won't let the children visit with their mother."

Strawn's in-laws have even filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her, naming her own children as plaintiffs.

"I understand they have a legal right to do so but sometimes there's a big difference between what a person has a legal right to do and what they should do." Freeman said.

Strawn's criminal trial happened in August and lasted a full week. The jury deliberated for more than nine hours before finding her not guilty on all counts.

Strawn testified her husband was both verbally and physically abusive during their six year relationship. And the night she shot and killed him, she said she feared he was going to kill her and the kids.

"It wasn't that he had it coming or that I had enough, it was him or it was us and I had to make that split decision and what was I going to do." Strawn said.

Strawn said she wishes it had never come to that, but it did. Now she just wants to move forward.

"I am ready to put this behind me and move on. Get my babies back and just be happy with them. That's what I want more than anything," Strawn said.

We did contact the attorneys who represent the in-laws who have filed the lawsuit, but they said they have no comment at this time.