Alberta murder trial hears wife abused before man shot, house set on fire


    ST. PAUL, Alta. – A jury has heard that an Alberta woman shot her husband as he was lying on a couch, then set their house on fire.

    A second-degree murder trial has begun for 53-year-old Deborah Doonanco in St. Paul, northeast of Edmonton.

    The Crown told the jury in an opening statement that Doonanco killed Kevin Feland in their home in the village of Glendon in May 2014.

    The prosecutor said Doonanco then started the fire to destroy evidence.

    Defence lawyer Brian Beresh told the jury that Doonanco was suffering from battered woman syndrome at the time.

    He said Doonanco was afraid for her safety and hadn’t eaten or slept for several days before the shooting.

    Beresh also said Feland had been regularly using cocaine.

    “She would have been killed on May 25 had she not defended herself,” Beresh told the jury Tuesday.

    The prosecutor admitted Feland had been violent with Doonanco in the past but that there’s no reliable evidence he was abusive to her immediately before his death. Court was told the couple had earlier married and divorced then reconciled.

    A 911 call Doonanco made as she stood outside the burning home made was played in court.

    “We were arguing. He was doing crack and he lit the house on fire,” Doonanco screamed.

    “He was sleeping on the couch,” she also said during the call.

    “I need my mom.”


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