On Saturday, February 17, 2024, the Associated Press reported that a suspended magistrate judge in Pennsylvania was charged with shooting her estranged boyfriend while he slept last weekend in Susquehanna Township.

Dauphin County Magisterial District Judge Sonya McKnight, 57, was accused of shooting her 54-year-old ex-boyfriend Michael McCoy in the head in his home around 1 AM on February 11. Police say McKnight shot McCoy while he slept, with the bullet entering through his right temple and exiting the left side of his head, leaving him blinded in his right eye. McKnight claimed she was asleep at the time and heard McCoy screaming, but investigators found doorbell camera videos from neighboring homes that contradicted her account.

McKnight and McCoy had been in a one-year relationship that McCoy ended numerous times trying to get McKnight to leave his home. On the night of the shooting, McCoy told McKnight he planned to get his mother’s help to remove her from the house, which police said showed McKnight finally understood their relationship was over. Gunshot residue was found on McKnight’s hands an hour after the shooting, and the gun was registered in her name.

McKnight was arrested and charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. She is being held at Dauphin County Prison on $300,000 bail. Due to a conflict of interest, the case was transferred from the local district attorney’s office to the neighboring Cumberland County District Attorney Sean McCormack.

McKnight has a history of misconduct allegations and prior legal issues involving former partners. She is currently suspended without pay from her judgeship over claims of improper actions, including using her judicial title to promote product sales. In 2019, McKnight was not charged after shooting her estranged husband, who survived, in a claimed act of self-defense.



Source: The Associated Press