Husband sued in shooting Shot on birthday, wife seeks $7 million

August 14, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

In January, a Pasadena man allegedly shot his estranged wife twice in the parking lot of a Pasadena shopping mall.

Yesterday, his wife shot back.

Mary Maxine Copeland filed suit in county Circuit Court seeking $7 million in damages from her husband, Arthur, for allegedly shooting her on her 59th birthday at the Marley Station mall.

Mr. Copeland, of the 1200 block of Rock Hill Road in Pasadena, is being held at the county detention center awaiting trial. He is charged with assault with intent to murder in the Jan. 17 shooting.

Police said the woman was walking to her blue Oldsmobile Calais near the entrance to the Hecht's department store about 6 p.m. when her husband approached her and said, "I have a birthday present for you."

Mr. Copeland pistol-whipped her face, then shot her in the side, police said.

The bullet passed through her and shattered the car window, said Officer V. Richard Molloy, a police spokesman.

She tried to run, but collapsed about 200 feet away, near another parked car.

After the shooting, Mrs. Copeland was flown by MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was listed in critical condition. She identified her attacker before being transported to the hospital, Officer Molloy said.

Police and witnesses said Mr. Copeland drove off in a small blue pickup truck.

About an hour after the shooting, county police staked out the Rock Hill Road address and arrested him there.

The suit says Mrs. Copeland lost an eye, lost time from work and "suffered great pain and mental anguish" because of the attack.

Mrs. Copeland is seeking $5 million in punitive and $2 million in compensatory damages.

The suit also names Mr. Copeland's son, Robert Copeland, separately as a co-defendant, claiming that while Mrs. Copeland was in the hospital, Robert went to her home and took property belonging to Mrs. Copeland and her estranged husband.

The suit seeks an additional $100,000 in compensatory damages and $400,000 in punitive damages from Robert Copeland.

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