Mom jailed in death of 'abusive' U.S. husband

Image: Magaret Crane
Margaret Crane, center, smiles as she arrives at a court in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, for sentencing on Thursday.Wichai Taprieu / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Canadian woman was jailed for 3 1/2 years Thursday for killing her American common-law husband in northern Thailand.

Margaret Crane, 50, was sentenced to two years for fatally shooting George Patrick Dubie, 56, in the city of Chiang Mai in July 2006, Judge Thanakorn Pasayapaiboon said. She also received 1 1/2 years for possessing and carrying a pistol in public.

"The court views that the defendant committed the crime as charged, but (she) did it in a rage after being provoked and pressured," he said, explaining the relatively light sentence.

He added that a confession by Crane, who comes from Victoria, British Columbia, meant that the four years she might have served for manslaughter was halved to two. She had been charged with committing the killing in the heat of the moment.

Victim 'abusive'
Crane told the police following her arrest that the dead man had been physically and verbally abusive and hit her and their six children repeatedly, said her lawyer Pongsatorn Pijadi.

Crane said she went to see Dubie at a restaurant to get money he promised her but was verbally abused, said Pijadi.

Witnesses earlier told police that the couple were arguing at a restaurant when she pulled out a pistol and fired three shots before fleeing in a car.

"She was under intense pressure," Pongsatorn said.