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Phenix City woman arrested and charged with shooting, killing Army husband, officials say

A Phenix City woman has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of her Army sergeant husband.

Brittnay Ryals Paonessa, 27, is being held in the Lee County Detention Facility on the murder charge, according to a release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers responded to a call around 4:36 p.m. June 13. They found Sgt. Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa, 26, of Smiths Station, lying in the front yard with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. The home is located on the 500 block of Lee Road 436.

Life-saving procedures were performed, but Brandyn Paonessa died from his injury and was pronounced dead on the scene, according to officials. A shotgun was recovered at the scene.

Paonessa was assigned to Task Force 1-28, 3rd Infantry Division stationed at Fort Benning. The infantryman joined the U.S. Army in September 2013 and had two overseas combat deployments to Afghanistan, according to a statement from Fort Benning officials.

“The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Brandyn Lloyd Paonessa,” a portion of a statement reads. “The cause of his death remains under investigation.”

Brittnay Paonessa is being held on a $150,000 bond.

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