Iqaluit woman gets 1 year in jail for killing husband

Eulalie Ussak pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of her husband in 2009.

Poured gasoline in doorway of shack while spouse was inside

Eulalie Ussak of Iqaluit was sentenced Friday to one year in jail for manslaughter in the death of her husband Kenneth McFarlane. (Emily Ridlington/CBC)

An Iqaluit woman has been sentenced to one year in jail for manslaughter.

Eulalie Ussak pleaded guilty in the death of her husband Kenneth MacFarlane almost three and a half years ago.

On December 12, 2009, he was drinking in a shack behind the house they shared. There was an argument.

Ussak admitted she poured the gasoline that fuelled the fire which destroyed the shack. The source of ignition was never determined.

She told police she wanted the shack gone to stop her husband from drinking and beating her.

MacFarlane's body was found in the burnt-out shack. He died from inhaling smoke and carbon monoxide. 

In sentencing Ussak, Justice Sue Cooper said it was important to remember that a life had been lost and that the effect on the family of the deceased is everlasting.  

The Crown had asked for two years less a day in jail. The defence wanted a suspended sentence with no time in custody.

There are no minimum or maximum sentences for manslaughter.

But Cooper said there was a certain level of pre-meditation. Before the fire, Ussak had told others she was going to burn down the shack.

As the sentence was being read, Ussak, her family and friends broke down crying.

As she left the court to go into custody, Ussak told her children she loved them, that she would be fine and for them to be strong.

She has been given credit for about 40 days in pre-trial custody. She'll spend about 10 months behind bars.