Reported Domestic Violence Victim Charged with Murder of Alleged Abuser, Fiance

A 37 year old Frederick County woman has been charged in the fatal shooting of her fiance, who allegedly abused her, and threatened to kill her, according to charging documents.

The Frederick County sheriff’s office on Monday charged Michelle Handorf with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and criminal use of a firearm in connection with the death of Wesley Alan Gibson. The age of the victim was not immediately available.

Deputies arrived at the 3800 block of South Mountain Road in Knoxville Maryland where they found Gibson, suffering from gunshot wounds to his upper chest and right hand. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died. 

Investigators say Handorf told them the killing happened after a series of abusive incidents in their home. She also told them the couple had been together for several years, and that Gibson had also been abusive throughout that period. 

Handorf told the investigators that Gibson grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her, yanked her hair and threw her around, told her he would drown her, and extinguished a burning cigarette in the palm of her hand.

Handorf told the deputies that she “just wanted Gibson to stop hurting her,” according to the charging documents.

 According to her account, Handorf took possession of Gibson’s gun, a Hi-Point Model C-9 9 mm, while he was in the bathroom.  Handorf told the investigators that when Gibson saw the weapon in her hand, he “got a crazy look in his eyes and turned to her,” adding that she feared for her life. When he stepped toward her, Handorf said she fired the gun.

After Gibson collapsed to the floor, Handorf called 911. 

An examination of Handorf after her arrest revealed “some small bruises on her forearm” and “some loose hair coming out of her hair,” according to the documents. Handorf also complained of chest pain from where she said Gibson had punched her earlier, as well as pain to her head from where she said he had grabbed her by the hair, but her injuries were “nothing extensive,” according to the wording in the charging documents.

Handorf is currently being held without bond at the Frederick County Detention Center.