A woman who brought her husband’s guns to the police department for fear of the safety of herself and her children was arrested for taking the weapons without permission.
Courtney Taylor Irby and her husband Joseph have two children and reside in Lakeland, Florida.
In December, the couple decided to part ways and file to dissolve their marital union.
After a hearing regarding their divorce, Joseph reportedly followed Courtney’s car as she left the courthouse and tried to cause her to crash by allegedly slamming the front end of his vehicle into the back end of hers.
She was able to escape the reportedly dangerous situation without having an accident, and Courtney drove to the Barstow Police Department so she could let the authorities know what had taken place. The woman was “uncontrollably crying” and “in fear for her life,” as stated in the incident report. Courtney additionally explained that she has tried to file for domestic violence restraining orders against her husband on more than one occasion.
When her car was checked over by an officer it was noted that Courtney had scratches on her back bumper.
While still in the company of the police Courtney got a text message from Joseph containing a picture that she believed was meant to cause her to believe he was waiting for her at the day camp where one of their children was enrolled.
An officer went to the facility with Courtney and located Joseph before checking the front bumper of the man’s car, where he found what he believed was paint scuffs from Courtney’s automobile.
During his arrest for domestic violence-related accusations, Joseph allegedly spat derogatory remarks about his soon-to-be ex-wife. He was taken into custody for suspicion of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and his bail, set at $10,000, was set to be taken care of to ensure his release three days after his arrest. He was further prohibited from using, possessing, or carrying weapons or ammunition, and a temporary restraining order was issued so that he would not be allowed to come into contact with Courtney.
The following day Courtney reportedly went to Joseph’s dwelling, where she knew he kept guns and other weapons-related items and entered without permission to collect the stash. She immediately went back to the Lakeland police station where they had assisted her the previous day.
When Courtney tried to give the weapons to the officer he asked if she was admitting to committing an armed burglary in her attempt to turn in the items.
Courtney tried to tell the officer that Joseph had been ordered in court to give up possession of the items and he had not done so. She further expressed extreme fear that she and her children would be in serious danger when Joseph was freed from jail and she wanted to try to keep them all safe.
The still incarcerated Joseph was notified about what had taken place and he decided to press charges against Courtney for her attempt to hand over his weapons. He said that another one of his guns was taken by Courtney, but he never reported it because he thought it would seem as if he was intending to harm her if he pursued its repossession. Though it was denied, Joseph tried to request a restraining order against Courtney as well.
Courtney was jailed on charges of two counts of grand theft of a firearm, and one count of armed burglary, for her allegedly misguided effort to protect herself from physical violence. She was held without bail for six nights and released after submitting $5000.
With regards to the entire incident, Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani, who plans to support dropping the case against the woman, gave a statement saying that outrage is the appropriate response to Courtney Irby’s arrest. She explained, “We know with so many survivors of domestic violence that asking for help is the biggest challenge. We just demonstrated that if you ask for help, you might be arrested.”
Both Courtney and Joseph are scheduled to appear in court on their separate charges in July.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.