Brooke Longabardi, formerly of Potwin, was sentenced today to 36 months probation in the case involving her shooting of her husband on Aug. 18.

Brooke Longabardi, formerly of Potwin, was sentenced today to 36 months probation in the case involving her shooting of her husband on Aug. 18.

Longabardi, who plead no contest to reckless aggravated battery, which is a level 5 person felony on Jan. 13, did not appear emotional until her husband, victim Richard Longabardi, addressed the court.

"I would ask that you grant my wife probation," began Richard. "Knowing what prison is like myself, I know that it is not where she needs to go. She is getting the help she needs by going to her psychiatrist. This act happened that particular day is not solely my wife's fault. It is probably way more my fault than it would ever be hers. I hope you would allow my wife to receive her treatment. My family needs my wife and my kids need their mother. After this case is over with, if we could have the no-contact order lifted amongst ourselves so that we could get the therapy we need together. We will need it for the future and possibly even with our kids. We have to start somewhere."

The court then asked for a recommendation from the prosecuting county attorney, Joe Penny, for the state's position on the sentence.

"The state recommends a 32-month sentence with the secretary of corrections," said Penny. "Also, 24 months of post-release supervision with one day of jail time credit as well as 36 months probation.We believe this amount of time would be appropriate for this case. The marked conditions of probation would also be appropriate. We would recommended the continued mental health and evaluation. Additionally I did note that the no contact provision is not marked here. Essentially it not being marked is consistent with Mr. Longabardi's wishes. It hasn’t been in full effect since Judge Ward modified it during the hearing in September. It allowed phone and certain contact to occur as well as joint counseling to be permitted. The defendant and the victim have four children in common. The state would not recommend a fine but would recommend costs and fees. Obviously, this is a case that required some medical intervention, but Mr. Longabardi was not seeking restitution for this case. The defendant did wave preliminary hearing so witnesses were called off and no witness fees are being sought."

Brooke's attorney, concerned with the possibility of her serving a prison sentence and not continuing her psychiatric treatment, then spoke to give their opinion of the sentencing.

"I have provided this court with three documents," said Attorney James Watts. "The first was an evaluation of Mrs. Longabardi; second was a list of her most recent progress notes, and the third is a letter from her treatment provider, Dr. Marc A. Schlosberg in Lenexa, Kan. Mrs. Longabardi comes to this case and came to treatment in some difficult circumstances. She reports a number of circumstances that put her in a very difficult spot. She reported during her treatment that she has been subjected to extreme sexual, physical and verbal abuse including several instances being raped by her husband. She reports a number of circumstances where, during fights or disagreements, there would be threats of him physically overpowering her. He is obviously physically larger. On the day of the incident, she reported being told if she tried to get away from the argument or from Mr. Longabardi, she would never see her children again. She even reported in her counseling that he (Mr. Longabardi) would hope that she would swing at him so that he could hit her and she would never get back up."

The criminal past of Mr. Longabardi, in order to prove the impact of the threats was also presented to the court.

"Mr. Longabardi has been in prison before," explained Watts. "He was convicted of murder and served an 18-year prison sentence which he acknowledged here today. When he said to her "you won't get up again," she is aware that it is a threat that he has made good on in the past. As a result of this abuse, there is a result of fairly significant depression and post traumatic stress disorder. In dealing with this case, I must make a point to notify the court that there is not only an appropriate treatment program that exists, but she is in it. She has been in the program since Sept. 16, 2013, which is well before a plea agreement was established. She has been seen twice a month in October, December, January and February. She has also been present in a child immediate care case. She is trying to put her family back together if she can. Mrs. Longabardi has been undecided about that to this point. We strongly urge this court to place her on probation rather than placing her in incarceration for 36 months. It is because of the nature of this case, we deem that appropriate. While on probation, she will be ordered to participate in a child immediate care case. She will be ordered to report to the department of corrections. Mr. Longabardi is seeking that same outcome for his wife. We strongly reccomend probation."

Brooke, now visibly upset, addressed the court.

"I almost don’t know what to say," she began. "I’m so upset thinking about being away from my kids for even one day. I want to apologize to my family for what I’ve put them through. I will be good on probation. I never put anything off and I always make sure I do things right away. I think the therapy is helping me and being apart from my husband. I haven’t had any criminal history and I'm 32 years old. All I did was stay home with my kids day and night. I don't go out and cause trouble. I was hoping that you would consider house arrest if you will not grant me probation. I feel like I don’t have any fight left."

Judge David Ricke further stressed the severity of the violence in this case.

"Mrs. Longabardi,shooting another human being with a firearm is an appalling, violent crime," began Ricke. "Being a level 5 person felony, that qualifies you as presumptive prison in and of itself. You are also presumptive prison because the crime was committed with a Ruger firearm. You shot your husband with a deadly weapon. Because of that, this is also presumed a prison case. It's obviously a very serious offense. The court must consider quite a bit in making any ruling regarding a non-prison option in this case. At some point you made a judgement in shooting another human being. The court must ask if you are likely to make this same mistake again and this court needs to decide if the community needs to be protected from you. Should another person be killed or injured because of your lapse in judgement? Mr. Longabardi recommends probation for you, but it is up to the court to determine that. The court resolves that issue at this time that you are not currently that type of danger to the community. The court rather finds in this case there is currently an available and recommended therapy program. That is more effective most likely than prison to reduce your risk or committing another similar crime later. Further, the court finds that imposing a non-prison sanction will serve the community's safety risks. The court does grant a border box probation in this case for a period of 36 months"

Brooke was given several conditions for her probation including reporting as directed, submitting to random blood, breath and urine testing, as well as gaining meaningful employment. She was also ordered to register with the state as a violent offender for 15 years following her probation. It was also stipulated she continue to participate in individual psychotherapy, engage in family therapy oriented to help her children understand the circumstances surrounding her absence from the home and follow any medical recommendations for psychological medications from Schlosberg.

"The only thing you said today that bothered me is that you feel you don’t have enough left to fight anymore," said Ricke. "I hope that you have enough left to fight for yourself, for your kids and to gain a life for yourself. The fact that you prepared so well for this sentencing today tells me that you do have some fight left. You’re looking at a very long prison term if you fail, but I feel that you have the personal motivation and resources to succeed."