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Thursday, September 15, 2011

[VA] 23 years in prison for wife of Orange County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Bob Canosa (R.I.P.)

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Bob Canosa was murdered by his estranged wife, Brenda - who says she didn't remember killing him. She drove to where he was staying, called him to have him come out, then started shooting him - chasing him down. He crawled inside, called police, and let them know it was her. He died in the hospital nine days later. Bob was a former Marine and had worked for the Culpeper County Sheriff's Department before Orange County. Brenda pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

...Brenda Canosa spoke tearfully, turning to apologize to her children and husband’s parents and sisters. “I know you hate me and I don’t blame you for that,” she said to Bob’s family. “We were married for over 25 years – I love Bob. I never once planned or thought to do this. I don’t remember. I am so sorry. I can’t believe this is happening”...

Pray for their kids, and families.

Star Exponent
Published: September 15, 2011
[Excerpts] Former Madison County special education teacher Brenda Lee Canosa, 51, will spend 23 years in prison for murdering her estranged husband nearly two years ago... Following months of protracted hearings and mounting physical evidence from the commonwealth, the accused accepted an Alford Plea in June, pleading guilty to first-degree murder. She claimed to not remember shooting her husband, and originally pleaded not guilty. Bob and Brenda Canosa separated eight months prior to his death after more than 25 years of marriage. The impact of the separation on Mrs. Canosa was severe, the defense said, resulting in a suicide attempt, severe drug and alcohol abuse and a psychiatric detachment and disassociation to life. Judge Bouton said the defendant’s emotional stress, while a plausible explanation for her actions, was not justification... “This was not a spur-of-the-moment crime,” said Bouton, saying Mrs. Canosa sought out Mr. Canosa, shot him and killed him. It was not a case either in which she had suffered abuse over many years at the hands of her husband, the judge said, nor was she in any danger the day of the shooting... “We believe it was a cruel, cruel coldblooded murder,” [Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana] Wheeler said, recommending a 25-year sentence. She further documented “classic stalking behavior” prior to Bob Canosa’s murder when his wife broke into his residence, took pictures there and attached a GPS device to his vehicle. Attempts to reconcile proved unsuccessful, further driving a wedge between the two... Bob Canosa was a career law enforcement officer who at the time of his death was an investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and had previously worked for the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office. He was active at the community level as an instructor in citizens’ law enforcement academies in Orange and Culpeper. He also loved Elvis, said his older sister, Chris Canosa. She described her brother as fearless, strong, protective and caring. “He was my protector,” Chris Canosa said. “I don’t have that anymore.” She said his death has devastated her parents... Caitlin Canosa, called by the defense, said she was placed in the middle of her parent’s separation, becoming like a parent to both of them. She testified that her mother attempted suicide in August of 2009, consuming alcohol and pills and writing a note to her children. Mrs. Canosa was taking Zoloft for depression, Ambien to help her sleep and Xanax for anxiety. She later took prescription painkillers. “I tried to wake her up. It was horrible,” Caitlin Canosa said. “I didn’t want anything to happen to her”... The experts said Canosa had disassociation disorder. “She was severely, mentally impaired at the time of the shooting,” said psychiatrist James Thompson. Added defense attorney John Zwerling, “The perfect storm of factors revealed Brenda Canosa’s vulnerabilities and she cracked. This was a new world for her and she just was not capable of dealing with it.” After the separation, she became “a functional basket case,” Zwerling said. Before the sentencing, Brenda Canosa spoke tearfully, turning to apologize to her children and husband’s parents and sisters. “I know you hate me and I don’t blame you for that,” she said to Bob’s family. “We were married for over 25 years – I love Bob. I never once planned or thought to do this. I don’t remember. I am so sorry. I can’t believe this is happening.” [Full article here]


Star Exponent
By: Allison Brophy Champion
Published: June 03, 2011
[Excerpts] Accused murderer Brenda Canosa reportedly does not remember leaving her home in Madison County the cold December morning in 2009 when her estranged husband, Bob Canosa, was shot down in the driveway of his residence in rural Unionville. Later that morning at her home in Rochelle, Mrs. Canosa told a state police agent that she and Mr. Canosa spoke on the phone the night before, and that he had threatened to kill her... Bob Canosa was a career law enforcement officer who worked under former Culpeper County Sheriff Lee Hart and at the time of the crime was an investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He died nine days later from his wounds at the age of 55. Mrs. Canosa, 51, has been in jail in Orange since the shooting; she faces charges of first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. She was employed as a special education teacher at Madison Primary School at the time of the shooting... It was VSP Special Agent Alan Sullivan who testified Mrs. Canosa, on that morning, told him about a phone call with her husband the night before in which Bob Canosa reportedly said he would kill her before she would get everything, and that he asked her if she was going to shoot him... “She had a look of concern or disbelief when told about her husband,” he added... Present in the courtroom Friday was the Canosa’s son, Joseph, and a family friend who identified himself as an uncle, saying, “The whole thing is a tragedy”... [Full article here]

Star Exponent
By: Allison Brophy Champion
Published: June 17, 2011
[Excerpts] Schoolteacher Brenda Lee Canosa, 51, of Madison, pleaded guilty in court Thursday to first-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of her estranged husband Bob Canosa... Mrs. Canosa accepted an Alford Plea in doing so, meaning she did not admit the act, but felt the commonwealth had enough evidence to prove she willfully killed her husband... Per the plea agreement, Brenda Canosa faces a prison sentence of five years to 30 years and 10 months. Circuit Court Judge Daniel Bouton will hand down the sentence Sept. 15... “It was very hard to make this decision considering I don’t remember (shooting my husband),” Brenda Canosa told the judge, referencing “all the evidence” and “all the people that had been to my home and how sorry I am”... Earlier, the former special education teacher at Madison Primary School disclosed to the judge that she takes five different medications for depression, anxiety and migraines, including Zoloft... In lengthy remarks Thursday, Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana Wheeler detailed the grisly crime... Bob Canosa died nine days later at the age of 55... The defendant called her husband from outside his residence at 5:40 a.m. the morning of the shooting and told him to come outside, Wheeler said. When he did, Brenda Canosa said, “Sorry, Bob,” and began shooting. When he fell down, the defendant kicked her husband in the groin, Wheeler said, and when he got up, she chased him around vehicles in the parking lot, firing as she went, leaving a trail of blood on the gravel... The couple’s separation eight months before the murder was far from amicable... Mrs. Canosa ... called her husband 1,515 times on her cell phone... She called him another 632 times from her home phone. During the separation, Brenda Canosa also apparently mailed “anonymous” letters to various local officials in which she purported to be a concerned citizen raising concern “about the lax morals of Bob Canosa”... [Full article here]
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