Criminal Justice

Judge is on leave pending investigation into shooting of estranged husband

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A Pennsylvania judge is on leave during an investigation into whether she was justified in shooting and wounding her estranged husband.

A court spokesperson said Wednesday that Magisterial District Judge Sonya McKnight of Dauphin County has gone on paid leave, report and Fox 43.

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is investigating the May 10 shooting at her Harrisburg home.

Judge Sonya McKnight Magisterial District Judge Sonya McKnight. Photo from the Dauphin County Magisterial District Judge System.

Investigators said McKnight and her estranged husband, Enoch McKnight, gave differing accounts of what happened. Enoch McKnight was at the home to help the judge move some furniture, according to accounts by his relatives. Prior coverage is here.

Sonya McKnight had received a protection from abuse order from her husband in October, but a change in effect at the time of the shooting allowed peaceful contact. Sonya McKnight obtained the order based on allegations that her husband had tried to pull her from the car when she was driving, causing her to crash into a fire hydrant.

Enoch McKnight pleaded guilty to simple assault in the car incident and was sentenced to time served of 15 days in jail last year.

Sonya McKnight defeated a sitting judge who was under investigation when she was elected in 2015, according to previous coverage. The judge she replaced later pleaded no contest to charges that he pressured constables for campaign contributions.

Updated on May 24 to state that Judge McKnight is on paid leave.

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