Florida lesbian gets 25 years for shooting estranged partner

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com June 13 2003 12:00 AM ET

A 62-year-old bank teller has received two prison sentences of 25 years and one of 20 years, all to be served concurrently, for shooting her estranged partner and another woman who tried to prevent the attack outside a Pensacola, Fla., church. Andrea Cobb was sentenced Tuesday for attempted first- and second-degree murder and aggravated battery for the shootings on April 28, 2002. Circuit judge Michael Jones told her he realized the punishment amounted to a life sentence given her age but that it is the minimum set by state law. Frail and meek, Cobb showed little response.

Assistant public defender Michael Van Cavage had argued for a lesser sentence on the grounds that Cobb had no prior criminal record and was overmedicated on prescription drugs when she shot her ex-lover, Joyce Anderson, and Nancy Browning, another church member. The shootings occurred after Cobb and Anderson came out of Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church following a Sunday service. The denomination was established primarily to meet the spiritual needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. Anderson was shot in the hand, and Browning is permanently disabled by a
bullet lodged in her spine. Browning was awarded a medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for stepping between Anderson and the gun.