Daycare Owner Who Shot Husband Who Allegedly Molested Children Says She Won’t Apologize Until He Does
Shanteari Weems shot her husband in July 2022 after she confronted him about allegations that he molested children at the daycare center she owned.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on July 21, 2022, Shanteari Weems shot her husband James Weems, Jr., twice inside their room at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. She confessed to the shooting but explained that she “snapped” after learning of accusations that he molested children who attended her Lil' Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills, Maryland, according to PEOPLE.
Prosecutors apparently have evidence to back up the accusations that horrified Shanteari. James Weems, a retired police officer who worked at the daycare as a bus driver, has been charged with 33 counts of rape and child sex crimes. Shanteari has filed for divorce and is cooperating with investigators in Baltimore County on their charges against her soon-to-be ex-husband.
In February 2023, Shanteari was surprised in court when D.C. Superior Court Judge Michael O'Keefe sentenced her to four years in prison. That was double the sentence that her lawyer had worked out in her plea deal on charges of aggravated assault and carrying a pistol without a license. Now, she’s speaking out about her situation.
Shanteari told WUSA9 that she broke when she learned about the horrific allegations directly from the parent of a child that she’d loved for years at her daycare center.
She admitted that she felt like she had failed, saying about her husband, “We were both supposed to be on this crusade of saving children, and child molestation is something that we had talked about all the time, how horrible it was. I think about that child all the time. I think about all the children all the time."
In a fit of despair, she had her first drink in two decades and texted her business partner that she planned to kill her husband and then herself. However, she insisted to WUSA9 that she just snapped and that she is not a violent person.
When she confronted her husband, she says that the two of them just fueled the fire of a heated argument that escalated out of control, explaining that one thing led to another. She first shot her husband in the neck, then in the leg, and she insists that she didn’t deliberate between shots.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Shanteari told WUSA9 that she contemplated suicide because she felt like she’d let her family down and that she’d let down the children’s families. When asked about whether she feels remorse for the shooting, Shanteari said she was sorry for what she had done, yet she refused to apologize to her husband.
“I will apologize when he apologizes to those children,” she said.
Tony Garcia, Shanteari Weems’s attorney, told The Washington Post, “We are not asking anyone to feel sorry for her, but we are asking people to have empathy for her.”