The very unusual charge for a cop shooting her husband

By Suzanne Kaye, CNN

(CNN) — A Chicago police officer who shot her husband after mistaking him for a criminal was under the influence of painkillers at the time of the shooting, according to prosecutors.

An investigation into the July 26 incident found that Monique Harris was on medication that caused her to lose focus and cause her to be unable to distinguish a lawful arrest from one that should be considered illegal, according to a special prosecutor appointed by a Cook County judge to handle the case.

Prosecutors say the officer shot her husband, 56-year-old Ronald Watts, after mistaking him for her supposed criminal accomplice.

Watts has said he will press charges against Harris.

“She sent me screaming from the kitchen,” Watts, 56, said in a 911 call after the shooting. “She shot me and I want to file charges against her.”

Cops had just raided his home looking for marijuana.

Harris, a 10-year veteran of the force, was facing charges of aggravated battery for shooting her husband with a gun that was installed in his Taser stun gun. But before the case could go to trial, a judge appointed former Illinois attorney general Roland Burris to investigate. Burris found that Harris’ “actions were due to neglect and imprudence.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, Burris accused Harris of trying to kill herself during the incident, which unfolded in her South Side home. She kept a gun under her pillow, he said.

The killing was especially strange because she had filed a police report reporting that she had shot her husband accidentally while he was holding her gun, the special prosecutor said.

The investigation into Harris’ actions was ongoing but prosecutors decided to not pursue attempted murder charges against her.

Instead, Harris could face seven to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm.

“She admitted that, according to her, a struggle took place and the gun went off. She was struggling with her husband in the kitchen,” the special prosecutor said.

Watts said he still does not understand why his wife decided to shoot him. “Why would she do that?” Watts said. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do nothing,” he said.

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