Shannon Pursley, woman at center of New Year's homicide outside Ormond bar, speaks publicly for first time exclusively to VolusiaNews.net

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Coutesy photos / At far left, jail mug of Christian Pursley, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Keith "Shorty" Roberts on his motorcycle shown on his Facebook memorial page. At right is Shannon Pursley, wife of the accused killer who was seeing the victim. The homicide police report is attached. You can read it by clicking the attachment.

ORMOND BEACH -- Shannon Pursley has to walk an even finer line shielding her children as she deals with the horror of having seen her boyfriend gunned down by her estranged husband during the early morning hours of New Year's outside the Rockin' Ranch bar.

"Im not only dealing with the mourning of Keith, but also dealing with the repercussions that the father of my child is in jail," she said Monday night in an exclusive interview with VolusiaNews.net.

Pursley granted her first interview in the wake of the 2:30 a.m. tragedy when her boyfriend, Keith "Shoty" Roberts was shot to death in his pick-up truck with Shannon Pursley in the passenger side, ducking from the bullets allegedly fired by her estranged husband, Christian Pursley. He is charged with pre-meditated murder in the first-degree and attempted murder for the hail of gunfire in his wife's direction as well.

"It's hard," she said, dealing with the loss of life and the uncertain future for her estranged husband who is the father of their 8-year-old son. She also has a 13-year-old boy from an earlier relationship.

Pursley said she was asked by authorities not to speak directly about the homicide because the case is still being reviewed by the State Attorney's Office, which has to decide whether to convene the Volusia County grand jury to consider handing up an indictment that would allow the state to seek the death penalty at trial.

Shannon Pursley said shielding her children from the media spotlight is her No. 1 priority now, especially with all of the attention that comes with talk of the death penalty.

She said she found some comfort in dealing with Roberts' loss with a weekend poker run that drew 67 bikers as well as others in motor vehicles, that followed a memorial service.

Pursley said she and her husband had celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary last spring, but she moved out with her children with the marriage soured and tried to move on with her life.

She was asked why the homicide report states she told police was divorcing her husband, and that VolusiaNews.net had checked with the courts and no dissolution of marriage petition was filed.

Pursley said that was her intention and still something she intends on following through on, but coming up with the $400 filing fee was difficult. And now with her estranged husband in jail, she's the sole provider for the children.

"It's just not something I need to deal with right now," she said.

According to the police report, Shannon Pursley told police investigators she and the victim had been at the bar for most of the night and that her husband initially came in saw her with Roberts and then left. She said a few hours passed before her husband saw the two of them together in the victim's vehicle and then left. He returned a short time later and insisted on talking with her, the wife said, and when she wouldn't get out of the vehicle, he opened fire.

She said she ducked as Roberts drove off before they stopped a short distance away. The police report states an officer found her standing outside the driver's side door covered in blood as a result of broken glass from the gunfire, but that she had not been shot, even though several rounds exited through her passenger side window.

The bloodied victim was slumped onto the wheel and had no pulse. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

A dozen s.380 shell casings were recovered from the bar's parking lot, off Nova Road. At least three of the rounds struck the victim in the torso.

Christian Pursley drove home and barricaded himself inside after a Sheriff's deputy flagged down by patrons outside the bar followed him a short distance later.

The Sheriff's SWAT team responded to assist Ormond Beach police and Pursley surrendered a few hours later. The State Attorney's Office has not announced whether it will seek the death penalty against Pursley, ordered held without bail at his first appearance. 

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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