Wife charged in shooting death of Army soldier days after he filed restraining order against her

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Photo: Lee County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

An Alabama woman was charged in the shooting death of her husband, an Army sergeant stationed at Fort Benning, just days after he filed for a restraining order against her.


Brittnay Ryals Paonessa, 27, was charged Friday with the murder of 26-year-old Brandyn Paonessa, The Associated Press reported.

Brandyn Paonessa died Thursday afternoon after getting shot in the abdomen with a shotgun in the front yard of a Phenix City home, authorities said.

Local media outlets reported the shooting occurred just three days after the soldier filed for an emergency protection from abuse order against his wife. The court filings indicate Paonessa was concerned with his wife's mental well-being, and said she was "very unstable," Montgomery-based WSFA reported.

He reportedly accused her of stalking him and his family, as well as driving a truck into their home with their children inside. The couple married in 2013 and the youngest of their four children is two months old.

The infantryman joined the Army in September 2013 and completed two combat deployments to Afghanistan, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Brittnay Paonessa is being held at the Lee County Detention Facility on a $150,000 bond.

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