'I am so fearful:' Wife who stole husband's guns begs for protection

Courtney Irby speaks at court appearance

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

LAKELAND, Fla. - A woman who stole her husband's guns after he was arrested for allegedly trying to run her over said in court that she's terrified of her husband and genuinely believes he will kill her.

Courtney Irby addressed the court during her husband's first appearance before a judge.

"I want you to know that I am fearful that my husband is going to kill me. He has threatened me multiple times and it has been a very, very long journey for me to be heard and believed and yesterday he threatened me and I went straight to the police department and I am telling you I am terrified. I am terrified," she said.

She said she worried about what would happen if her husband was granted bond.

"He is mentally unstable, he is armed and I am fearful. I am so fearful. His family has money. He can get out. He thinks he can do whatever he wants. He's very psychologically antisocial. Rules don't apply to him. Even yesterday, everything that took place was right in front of the courthouse where there's tons of people and so I'm just begging for you, just, whatever you can do, the most you can do to please  protect me as much as you can," she told the court.

A judge set Joseph Irby's bond at $10,000 with stipulations that he have no contact with his wife and not possess any weapons.

Later that day, Lakeland police said Courtney Irby showed up at the department to turn in her husband's guns. 

"Well, he was arrested yesterday for trying to run me over with his car and he is now in jail. So I went to his apartment, since he is in jail, and I searched his apartment for the guns I knew he had and I took them," Courtney Irby said, according to an arrest report.

Officers arrested her on charges of grand theft firearm and armed burglary. Her arrest sparked outcry with politicians and activists urging the State Attorney's Office to drop the charges.

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