Pennsylvania Judge Charged with Shooting Ex-Boyfriend in the Head; Attempted to Convince Victim He Shot Himself, Police Allege


A Pennsylvania judge, Sonya McKnight, has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly shooting her ex-boyfriend, Michael McCoy, in the head and then trying to convince him that he shot himself.

The incident occurred on February 10 at McCoy’s home in Harrisburg after he attempted to end his one-year relationship with McKnight. McKnight called 911 to report that McCoy could not see and requested an ambulance, claiming she was sleeping and woke up to him screaming.

However, during the investigation, police learned that McCoy had tried numerous times to break up with McKnight. He had even taken his key from her, but she used a spare to enter his home while he was at work.

Pennsylvania Judge (Credits: San Diego Union-Tribune)

On the evening of February 9, McCoy found McKnight sitting on his couch in pajamas when he returned home from work. After a tense interaction, McCoy went to bed, only to wake up later with massive head pain and loss of vision. McKnight allegedly tried to convince him that he had shot himself.

Detectives found McKnight’s interview to be deceptive, and a test conducted within an hour after the shooting found gun residue on her hands. McCoy, now blind in his right eye, suffered a single gunshot wound that entered near his right temple and exited near the left temple.

McKnight, an elected judge since 2016, was suspended without pay in mid-November for violating judicial probation from a previous misconduct case. In 2019, she was also charged with shooting her estranged husband but was not charged after claiming self-defense.

McKnight now faces serious charges for the alleged attempted murder of her ex-boyfriend, with authorities highlighting the deceptive nature of her actions and statements following the shooting.

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