STATE v. ALLERY
101 Wn.2d 591 (1984)
682 P.2d 312
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent,
SHERRIE LYNN ALLERY, Appellant.
The Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc.
May 17, 1984.
Ellen Yaroshefsky and Gibbs, Douglas, Theiler, Yaroshefsky & Drachler, for appellant.
William H. Griffies, Prosecuting Attorney, and Chris Quinn-Brintnall, Chief Criminal Deputy, for respondent.
Judith A. Bendor on behalf of Northwest Women's Law Center, amicus curiae for appellant.
Defendant Sherrie Allery appeals her conviction for the second degree murder of her husband, Wayne Allery. She assigns error to the trial court's instruction on self-defense and evidentiary rulings excluding expert testimony on the battered woman syndrome. She further contends the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the defendant's duty to retreat.
We hold the trial court's instructions were defective in explaining the law of self-defense. We also hold expert testimony on the battered woman syndrome is admissible to show the defendant's fear of imminent danger at the time of the shooting. We reverse and remand for a new trial.I
The defendant married Wayne Allery in 1975. Shortly after the marriage, she began to experience what was to become a consistent pattern of physical abuse at the hands of her husband. She suffered periodic pistol whippings, assaults with knives, and numerous beatings from her husband's fists throughout the marriage. In 1978, Mrs. Allery
was hospitalized after her husband struck her on the head with a tire iron. During the last year of their marriage, the beatings increased in frequency and severity. Finally, on October 24, 1980, Mrs. Allery initiated divorce proceedings and served her husband with restraining orders.
The shooting occurred early in the morning of November 1, 1980. The defendant testified that she entered her house late at night not expecting to find her husband there because of the restraining orders. She bolted the door locked when she entered. As she moved through the house and into the kitchen, a light came on by the couch. Mr. Allery was lying there and said to her, "I guess I'm just going to have to kill you sonofabitch. Did you hear me that time?" Report of Proceedings, at 611.
The defendant went into the bedroom and tried unsuccessfully to open the window to escape. She heard a metallic noise from the kitchen and thought Mr. Allery was getting a knife. While in the bedroom, the defendant loaded one shell into a shotgun. She moved from the bedroom to the kitchen area and fired the shot that killed her husband while he remained lying on the couch.