Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Time served for trying to kill husband

Couple may get back together

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A Manitoba woman will do no further jail time for trying to kill her abusive husband by blowing up their house while he slept.

Renee Korobanik pleaded guilty to attempted murder for the August 2011 incident near Steinbach. She returned to court Thursday for sentencing -- only to walk out a free woman with a penalty of 30 months, which is the time she has already served.

Lawyers told court they couldn't find a similar case in Canada.

Korobanik, 50, admits carrying out a detailed plan that included closing the windows, turning on the burners, removing the carbon-monoxide detector and filling the home with propane before leaving with the couple's pets.

A small explosion occurred and the 54-year-old victim suffered minor burns to his face before escaping.

"The difference between murder and attempted murder is often just luck," provincial court Judge Tim Killeen said Thursday.

The Crown asked for up to six years in prison for Korobanik. But Killeen ruled she should be released from custody immediately. He gave her three years of probation.

Killeen cited the troubled relationship between Korobanik and her husband as the major reason for leniency. At the time of the incident, her husband was charged with uttering threats and was under a court order not to contact his wife.

She had agreed to let him back in the home because she was lonely, court was told.

That made the situation worse.

"She felt increasingly anxious and frightened for her safety," said Killeen.

Korobanik had no friends, having uprooted her life to move with her husband to Manitoba from Ontario. He would berate and intimidate her while drinking heavily, and she turned to alcohol and pills.

Korobanik suffered an abusive upbringing that included being beaten by several family members and even a teacher, court was told. She had also endured a tumultuous first marriage.

"Her self-esteem and judgment were so impaired as to make it near impossible to leave," said Killeen.

Korobanik was arrested hours after the incident inside a motel in Sprague.

She immediately took responsibility for the failed murder bid.

"She told police she didn't want him to suffer. She just wanted him to die peacefully in his sleep," said Killeen.

Korobanik and her husband have both expressed interest in resuming their relationship despite the fact she almost killed him.

Killeen said Thursday that shows the complexity of the relationship and that it's "simplistic" to suggest she should have just left him when the relationship soured.

However, Killeen said the 30-month sentence still sends a message that people can't take matters into their own hands "no matter how tough life may have been, no matter how abusive the relationship."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 5, 2014 A9

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