Woman Who Shot Threatening Gangsters Freed From Prison

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A 66-year-old grandmother who was considered a hero by her South Side neighbors for shooting two gang members who were threatening her family won her release from prison Thursday.

Elizabeth Mitchell-Dulaney served 2½ years of a 3½-year sentence when Gov. Bob Taft commuted her sentence to time served.

Neighbors and others considered it an injustice for Mitchell-Dulaney to have been imprisoned for shooting a drug dealer and his brother as an armed gang rushed at her family.

Mitchell-Dulaney was convicted of felonious assault with a gun.

On Thursday, she rushed into her husband's embrace. Frederick Dulaney lifted his wife's hand and slipped on her gold wedding band and engagement ring.

She clutched her commutation, a sheet of parchment with a gold seal and Taft's signature.

"I'm going to frame this and hang it up on the wall. And every time I walk by, I'm going to say, 'Thank you, Gov. Taft,'" Mitchell-Dulaney said, blowing a kiss to the paper.

She said she will never forget how people rallied behind her after reading about her case in The Columbus Dispatch.

"God bless you all," Mitchell-Dulaney said. "It has been a long struggle."

Mitchell-Dulaney was raising five orphaned great-grandchildren at the time of the shooting. A son cared for them while she was in prison.

She is home now with her husband in the East Side neighborhood of Berwick. After they finish moving in, the children will follow, leaving the South Side house where trouble began.

She said she plans to tell the children, "This is a new life, and we are going to be somebody."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)