Henrico father pleads guilty to shooting wife in head - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Henrico father pleads guilty to shooting wife in head

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Damond Austin pled guilty this afternoon to malicious wounding and use of a firearm. His wife survived, but now lives with a long list of injuries, including deafness in one ear, and blindness in one eye. 

After Austin pled guilty Wednesday afternoon, the prosecutor read off the list of injuries stemming from the one gunshot to his wife's head. She, was in court to watch her husband admit guilt. Their three children, who experienced that shooting, were not.

Surrounded by a group of women, Damond Austin's wife snuck out of the courthouse. 

In court we learned she and 33-year-old Damond Austin were fighting the night of February 22nd. Inside apartment "L" off of Hilliard Road with their three children.

Austin's wife was carrying their one-year-old when her husband pulled a gun out of his pocket and hit her. She hit back. He pulled the trigger. Hitting her once on the left side. Austin's attorney, said the former security guard is sorry.

"Before I even got appointed, he had already gone back and accepted responsibility for what he did. So I think that was the main motivation, just really acknowledging his role in this and accepting responsibility for what he did," said Brice Lambert, Austin's attorney.

Lambert thinks his client is depressed.

"You can tell he's lost a lot of weight. But he's got his family supporting him through this, trying to," he said.

Family, also supporting his wife, who is in rough shape. The bullet is still in her body. She has nerve damage, permanent numbness, and her mouth doesn't fully open. She's had re-constructive surgery and is currently seeing 11 doctors.

"It's very clear, and you'll be able to see it for yourself, from his interview, that we plan on playing at the sentencing, from when police were talking to him, that he's very remorseful about what he did," Lambert said.

After the shooting, Austin left. Police showed up, and the 11-year-old daughter explained how her dad shot her mom. Today, Lambert reminds us- violence is never the answer.

"When things are going tough, you've got to find someone to reach out to that can help you work it," he said.

Damond Austin will be sentenced in September. People are writing letters on his behalf, and the defense plans to show Austin's interview done with police the night of the shooting.

Austin faces up to life in prison for the malicious wounding charge. The firearms charge carries a up to a three year prison term.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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