BRITTNAY RYALS PAONESSA.jpg

Brittnay Ryals Paonessa, 27.

A man is dead and his wife is in custody following a Thursday evening shooting in Lee County.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a gunshot victim, at about 4:36 p.m. Thursday in the 500 block of Lee Road 436, Phenix City, police said in a Friday afternoon news release.

The 911 caller reported a gunshot victim was discovered outside the home. When deputies responded, a male victim was found lying in the front yard of the home suffering from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, said police.

The victim was later identified as Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa, 26.

Life-saving procedures were performed on Paonessa, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly afterward and was pronounced dead at the scene, said police.

Investigators located evidence, which led to the victim’s wife, Brittnay Ryals Paonessa, 27, being arrested and charged with murder in the death of her husband.

“A shotgun was recovered at the scene and has been preserved as evidence in this homicide investigation,” the release reads.

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

Prior incidents

Three days before the shooting incident, Brandyn Paonessa filed a petition for protection from abuse against Brittnay Paonessa, according to court records.

The petition states that on June 2, Brittnay Paonessa ran a truck into the home 3 feet from the couple’s children.

The couple has children ages 8, 3, 2, and 2 months, court records show.

Brandyn Paonessa stated that he feared Brittnay Paonessa will cause further abuse due to her mental state.

“She is very mentally ill and keeps harassing everyone I know,” the protection order reads. “She refused help from rehabilitation center and said she is very unstable.”

As a result of the protection order, Brandyn Paonessa was awarded temporary custody of the couple’s children, records show.

The couple also had domestic issues June 2018 when Brandyn Paonessa was arrested and charged with third-degree domestic violence-assault, according to court records.

The affidavit stated that Brandyn Paonessa grabbed Brittnay Paonessa and began hitting her in the midsection after she confronted him about what she had found on his phone, the affidavit states.

The charges were since dismissed with conditions, according to court records.

The most recent case remains under investigation.

Police ask anyone who has information regarding the incident to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651 or the Lee County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-522-7847.


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