Patchita Tennant Pleads Not Guilty

T.E. McMorrow
Patchita Tennant with Austin Manghan.

Patchita Tennant, the Flanders woman who allegedly tried to murder her longtime boyfriend by shooting him with a .38 caliber revolver three times September 5, was arraigned on four felony charges in the courtroom of New York State Supreme Court Justice John Collins in Riverside, Wednesday, November 13. Through her attorney Austin Manghan, Tennant entered not guilty pleas to all four charges, which include attempted murder, assault in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon. Collins agreed to have the $500,000 bond Tennant’s family had posted on her behalf September 10, securing her freedom, transferred from Southampton Town Justice Court, where she was originally arraigned September 7.

She had surrendered to police September 6 in the company of Manghan, after a short manhunt by the Southampton Town Police, who had erroneously believed that Tennant was trying to escape and had her three-year-old daughter with her,  according to Manghan.

The young girl, whose father is the alleged victim, Andrew Silas Mitchell, turned up safe at a relative’s house before Tennant surrendered.

Collins’s courtroom was packed with friends and family of Tennant, a manager at the CVS pharmacy on Pantigo Road in East Hampton. Tennant has not returned to work since the incident. One co-worker said, as she left the courthouse, that Tennant was the “best manager I have ever worked for.”

Manghan and many of Tennant’s friends have stated publicly that she was an abused woman, and that co-workers frequently helped her apply makeup to cover up bruises.

Tall and slim in stature, Tennant was calm and composed throughout the arraignment, and even smiled briefly as she left the courtroom. She huddled with Manghan in the hallway for about 15 minutes before leaving with her supporters.

Eric Aboulafia, the prosecutor on the case for Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini, said in court that Mitchell was shaving in the couple’s bathroom when Tennant, holding the gun, burst into the room. Aboulafia said that Tennant told Mitchell, “You are not going to marry me. I’m going to kill you, then kill myself.” Tennant then pulled the trigger on the .38 three times, the first two shots entering Mitchell’s chest, he said. Both the prosecution and Manghan agree that there was a struggle for the gun, with the third shot hitting Mitchell’s arm.

Aboulafia said that Mitchell was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where a three-hour surgery was performed, saving his life. Mitchell remained in the hospital for eight days and had to have a portion of one of his lungs removed.

Collins warned Tennant that she must show up for each court date. Tennant’s passport, which she turned over after her initial arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court September 7, has expired. The Jamaican-born Tennant is currently awaiting her new passport, which should be here within days, the court was told.

December 16 is her next court date.

Manghan said afterward that, while Tennant’s story about the course of events that led to the alleged shooting has remained consistent, the prosecution’s narrative has changed. Manghan previously said that Tennant was “fighting for her life” during the struggle for the gun, and that the shooting was in self-defense.

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