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May 7, 2014

Area native shot dead in S. Carolina; man charged

A 55-year-old former Otsego County woman was allegedly murdered by her estranged husband in South Carolina last week.

Mariann O’Shields, formerly of Edmeston, was shot on April 30 outside a Spartanburg domestic violence shelter where she was staying. Her husband, Robert O’Shields Sr., allegedly drove to the Safe Homes Crisis Center at about 7 a.m., pulled up beside her and fired two shots at her before driving away in a van.

Mariann had been living at the shelter with her 8-year-old daughter for six weeks and had just taken the girl to the bus stop before she was fatally shot, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. The young girl did not witness the shooting and is in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

Deputies said Mariann had an order of protection against O’Shields that allowed him to only contact her via text message about custody issues regarding their daughter. Mariann went to the sheriff’s office the day before she was killed to report that O’Shields had violated the court order by contacting her about other things, deputies said.

Mariann died in surgery about two hours after being shot. According to her daughter Amy Slater, Mariann told emergency personnel that it was O’Shields who had shot her. O’Shields was then arrested and charged with her murder. It was unknown on Tuesday whether he has a lawyer.

Slater, who lives in Oneonta with her husband, David, and their three children, said Tuesday that she is overwhelmed.

“I don’t know what to think or feel,” Slater told The Daily Star.

The 35-year-old said she just returned from South Carolina, where she was questioned by police. The family will have private calling hours, but right now, she said, it’s important to focus on cooperating with police during the investigation and helping them figure out what happened.

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