Florida Woman Jailed after Turning in her Husband’s Firearms to Police
Courtney Irby has been arrested for armed burglary for acts committed while trying to protect herself from domestic violence in Polk County Florida. News4Jax covered the recent story regarding Irby who is currently charged with Armed Burglary, a felony punishable by life under Florida Law. The arrest has caught the attention of law makers as well as both sides of the “gun control” debate.
The MSN news article lays out the facts as police reported what happened in these two cases. Irby and her estranged husband are going through a divorce. Her husband, Joseph Irby, was recently arrested for Aggravated Battery- Domestic when he allegedly rammed Courtney Irby’s motor vehicle with his own motor vehicle. He was arrested on June 14, 2019. The incident began in the courthouse parking lot and continued to the roadways were the husband continued to attempt to run the victim off the road. A review of the police report on the husband shows that the victim was speaking with 911 during the incident, so this 911 call’s recording will certainly be used as evidence. When the police spoke with the victim the report states that the victim was uncontrollably crying and stated numerous times “She was in fear for her life.”
A further review of the court records show when the husband went through first appearance court (Bond Hearing), the Judge set a $10,003.00 bond with Pretrial Services. Pretrial Services is a program that acts similar to probation while an individual is out on bond. A defendant may be required to wear a GPS monitor, SCRAM monitor (anti alcohol leg monitor), weekly drug testing, weekly visits with a case manager, ordered to have no contact with the victim, ordered not to travel or leave the county of arrest, and various other conditions. In the instant case the husband is required to call into Pretrial Services every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as well as to check in with Pretrial Services after each and every court date. The husband was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, and to follow the conditions ordered in an injunction between the husband and the wife. The husband is also prohibited from leaving the State of Florida without permission from the Judge. Should the husband violate any of his court ordered conditions of pretrial release, he is subject to his bond be revoked and set at zero and he will wait in jail until his case or the resulting sentence is over.
The husband bonded out of the Polk County Jail on June 19, 2019 and his attorney has already filed a motion to request his Pretrial Services order modified so that the husband may travel out of the State of Florida for work purposes.
After the husband was arrested, the wife filed with the Court system a Domestic Violence Injunction for Protection from her husband. A temporary injunction was granted by the Court and hearing date was set for June 28, 2019. A temporary injunction acts very similar to a regular injunction, and is often granted by a Judge to keep individuals safe until a hearing can be conducted with live testimony in which the Judge will then make a decision to grant a permanent injunction. An injunction has two parties. A petitioner is the person seeking the injunction. A respondent is the person the injunction would placed on. When deciding to grant or deny a temporary injunction, all the Judge has to review is the sworn affidavit or the words written down by the petitioner. If a temporary injunction is granted, the respondent must forfeit all of his/her firearms and have no contact with the petitioner. The injunction is not a criminal matter. It is handled in a civil court division normally referred to as Domestic Violence Court.
After the temporary injunction was granted against the husband is where the wife has found her own self fighting a criminal case of her own. On June 15 the wife entered the Lakeland Police Department to surrender the firearms owned by her husband. Her rationale was that the husband would not surrender the firearms on his own, so in fear of her own life, she went to his home, went through a locked front door, took the guns, and brought them to the Police Station. During this time, the Police Officer asked the wife if she had permission to be in the husband’s home, which the wife admitted she did not. The officer at this time determined that the wife had broken into the husband’s home, which is a burglary (Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison). Further complicating matters for the wife, since she took the firearms out of the home, she was charged with an armed burglary (First Degree Felony, punishable by up to life in Florida State Prison). The wife was also charged with two counts of Grand Theft of a Firearm (Third Degree Felony, Punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison).
In first appearance count, the Judge Determined probable cause existed, and set bonds of $1000.00 for each grand theft and no bond on the armed burglary. It is important to note, that a punishable by life felony under Florida law gives the Judge the ability to set no bond. The wife’s attorney filed a motion to set bond shortly after the defendant’s arrest in which the Judge went from the no bond on the armed burglary charge to a $5,000.00 bond in which the wife posted shortly after. Continue reading