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Fort Benning soldier's wife accused of fatally shooting him with shotgun

Brandyn Paonessa, a Fort Benning infantryman who had served in the Army since Sept. 2013 and was deployed twice overseas, was found fatally wounded in his front yard on June 13.

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By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 14, 2019

PHENIX CITY, Ala.  — An Alabama woman is accused of fatally shooting her husband, who was a soldier at Fort Benning.

News outlets report 27-year-old Brittnay Ryals Paonessa was charged with murder Friday. The Lee County Sheriff's Office says 26-year-old Brandyn Paonessa suffered a shotgun wound to the abdomen Thursday afternoon in the front yard of a home. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Fort Benning officials confirmed Brandyn Paonessa was an infantryman who had served in the Army since Sept. 2013 in a statement released by the installation.

"The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa," the statement said.

Paonessa was assigned to Task Force 1-28, 3rd Infantry Division and had two overseas combat deployments to Afghanistan.

Court documents say Brandyn Paonessa had filed an emergency protection of abuse order Monday against Brittnay Paonessa. In his request, Brandyn Paonessa said his wife had threatened his job by lying to his bosses, had driven a truck into the house and harassed all of their friends. The soldier described Brittnay Paonessa as “very unstable,” saying he was concerned about his wife's mental health and that she refused to get treatment from a rehabilitation center.

Court records show a history of marital discord between the couple, who married in 2013 and have three young children together. Brittnay Paonessa also has another child from a previous relationship.

Brandyn Paonessa was arrested last year on a third-degree domestic violence charge involving his wife after he was accused of punching her in the stomach because she looked through his cell phone. That charge was dismissed at the wife’s request.

It is unclear whether Brittnay Paonessa had an attorney who could comment.

This report contains information from Alabama Media Group.

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