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“The woman who killed (Feland) once loved him,” she said.

Kevin Feland, Debbie Doonanco's common-law husband, was shot twice in the chest on May 25, 2014. The house and his remains were set on fire in Glendon, Ab. Debbie Doonanco is charged with second-degree murder and arson in Feland's death. supplied photo
Kevin Feland, Debbie Doonanco’s common-law husband, was shot twice in the chest on May 25, 2014. The house and his remains were set on fire in Glendon, Alta. Debbie Doonanco pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his death Aug. 31, 2020, after earlier being convicted of second-degree murder. jpg

‘Physically, mentally and emotionally abusive’

Doonanco, 57, was initially convicted of second-degree murder after a jury trial in St. Paul.

She appealed the conviction to the Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that she had not received a fair trial. The court ordered a new proceeding, which ended with Monday’s guilty plea.

Doonanco has deep roots in the Glendon area, a tight-knit village of about 500 just north of St. Paul. She is the only child of Mary and Johnnie Doonanco, the village’s mayor for 14 years.

In 1985, she graduated from the University of Alberta with an education degree and returned to teach in the area. A letter of reference submitted to the court described her as a community-minded woman who loved teaching, animals and the village’s annual pyrogy festival.

Doonanco married Feland in 1996. During the relationship, Feland was “physical, mentally and emotionally abusive,” an agreed statement of facts states. In 1999, they divorced.

In the ensuing years, Feland was in relationships with two other women, who also reported abuse. By 2012, though, he and Doonanco reconciled, and he moved into her home.

“After a short period of relative peace and happiness,” Feland again began to abuse Doonanco, said Papadatou.

By the spring of 2014, Feland was out of work and addicted to crack cocaine. In the lead-up to the killings, he was on a crack binge. Some time after midnight on May 25, 2014, he fired Doonanco’s hunting rifle into the floor with her nearby. She wanted him to leave the home, but he refused. Doonanco was convinced he was going to kill her and then himself, so she shot him.

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