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Riverhead woman now facing attempted murder charge in Flanders shooting

The Riverhead woman arrested in September for a shooting during a domestic dispute at a Flanders home has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that include attempted murder, online court records show.

Patchita Tennant, 42, is scheduled to be arraigned before Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge John Collins on the upgraded charges next Thursday, Nov. 14. The indictment was handed down last Thursday, Oct. 31.

Ms. Tennant has been accused of shooting her estranged boyfriend, Andrew Silas Mitchell, 46, three times, twice in the chest and once in the arm. She was initially charged with first-degree assault and criminal use of a firearm. The upgraded charges also include one felony count of assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon, records show. All four charges are felonies.

The shooting incident occurred on Thursday, Sept. 5, shortly before 8:20 p.m., when police were called to the home on Pleasure Drive that Ms. Tennant previously shared with Mr. Mitchell. Police were advised to be on the lookout for Ms. Tennant, who was reported to have fled the scene with the couple’s 3-year-old daughter.

The search for Ms. Tennant and the child, which led police to issue a statewide Amber Alert, spanned about 18 hours. The child was located with a family member late the next morning and Ms. Tennant, whose vehicle was found in Middle Island, turned herself in to Southampton police around 3 p.m. that Friday.

At her initial arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court, Sept. 7, Ms. Tennant’s attorney, Austin Manghan, argued his client was acting in self defense. Mr. Manghan said the gun belonged to Mr. Mitchell and that she wrestled it away before shooting him. He added that the child was not present at the time of the shooting and that Ms. Tennant did not have the gun with her when she fled. He said the gun belonged to Mr. Mitchell.

Investigators examine Ms. Tennant’s car in a Middle Island parking lot. (Credit: Stringer News)

Assistant District Attorney Eric Aboulafia said Ms. Tennant and the couple’s daughter had been at a relative’s house when she realized she might not have enough clothes for her daughter and went alone to the house she owned with Mr. Mitchell to get more.

When she got there, an argument ensued with Mr. Mitchell, whom she accused of having an affair. The prosecutor said Ms. Tennant, who had recently been living in Riverhead, banged on a door and screamed “I’m going to kill you.”

Mr. Mitchell grabbed a .38 caliber handgun and the two wrestled over the gun, which went off, hitting Mr. Mitchell, according to the prosecutor.

Mr. Manghan said Ms. Tennant had never seen the gun before and was unaware that Mr. Mitchell owned it. He added that after Mr. Mitchell was shot, the gun was dropped on the floor and Ms. Tennant fled. He said Mr. Mitchell, who he accused of beating his client during the decade they were together, then tried to shoot her, but the gun had no more bullets. Prosecutors said the gun was not properly registered or licensed.

Ms. Tennant has been free on a $500,000 bond since shortly after her arrest, records show.

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