Edmonton

Alberta woman sentenced to life for husband's murder granted bail

An Alberta woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband and setting her home on fire has been granted bail pending her appeal.

Deborah Doonanco admitted to the crimes but claimed self-defence

Court sketch of Debbie Doonanco testifying at her trial for second-degree murder. (Ivory Rose Hrabec)

An Alberta woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband and setting her home on fire has been granted bail pending her appeal.

A jury found Deborah Doonanco, a former teacher, guilty in November of second-degree murder, arson and interfering with human remains in Kevin Feland's death. 

Doonanco admitted to the crimes but pleaded not guilty. She claimed self-defence, insisting she shot Kevin Feland at her Glendon, Alta., home in May 2014 to save her own life.

Feland's body was found in Doonanco's home in Glendon, northeast of Edmonton, in 2014.
A photo of Debbie Doonanco taken by RCMP after she was arrested. (Court exhibit)
 Doonanco called 9-1-1 to report a fire at the residence.

Her lawyer had argued it was self defence and Doonanco was in a dissociative state at the time because of battered woman syndrome.

Justice Ronald Berger says Doonanco can be released on $20,000 bail without deposit, citing letters of support and a psychological assessment report that recounts physical, verbal and sexual abuse she suffered during her relationship with Feland.

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