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Former Alberta teacher takes stand in murder trial of common-law partner

Former Alberta teacher accused of murder testifies at trial
WATCH ABOVE: A former teacher, accused of killing her common-law partner in the village of Glendon, Alta. testified at her own murder trial Thursday. Vinesh Pratap reports.

A former Alberta teacher, charged with second-degree murder in the death of her common-law partner, took the stand in her trial Thursday.

Deborah Doonanco, 53, told court she was in an abusive relationship with a man who was a drug user.

She told the court he verbally threatened to kill her and her parents if she left.

Doonanco is accused of killing Kevin Feland, 47.

The case dates back to May 2014 when the body of Feland was found in Doonanco’s of Glendon, Alberta home. Doonanco called 911 to report a fire in the home.

The trial has been going for two weeks in St. Paul Court of Queen’s Bench.

READ MORE: Former teacher on trial for 2nd degree murder; defence to argue battered women’s syndrome

Watch below: A closely-watched second degree murder trial is now underway northeast of Edmonton in which the accused is a member of a well-known family and for years worked as a teacher. The accused has pleaded not guilty and the defence is arguing she suffered from battered woman syndrome. Vinesh Pratap filed this report on Oct. 18, 2016.

Second-degree murder trial for former teacher gets underway northeast of Edmonton
Second-degree murder trial for former teacher gets underway northeast of Edmonton

The defence has argued the case is a matter of self defence because Doonanco suffered years of abuse at the hands of Feland.

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During opening statements, defence lawyer Brian Beresh described Feland as “out of control,” whose drug use was “off the scale.”

READ MORE: Alberta woman charged with husband’s murder after body found in fire

The Crown has acknowledged Feland had a history of violence, but was not violent after the couple reconciled several years after divorcing.

During the opening statements, the Crown told the jury Feland was shot twice in the chest as he laid on the couch.

The case is being heard by judge and jury.

Doonanco is currently out on bail.

-With files from Vinesh Pratap.