July 17, 2017 8:57 pm

Crown wants killer to spend at least 15 years in prison for Okanagan spousal murder

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The prosecutor wants a north Okanagan man to spend at least 15 years behind bars before he can apply for parole for the murder of his spouse.

Linda Stewart, 51, was shot to death with a .44 magnum handgun by Howard Krewson in June 2014 at her Lumby area farm property.

The couple had been arguing. Stewart was trying to drive away when she was shot inside her car, through the closed window, while on her cell phone to a friend saying: “He’s got a gun. He’s going to shoot me.”

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Krewson claimed he was too intoxicated by drugs and alcohol to form the intent necessary for a murder conviction. But the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.

A life prison sentence is automatic with the judge only having to decide how many years Krewson must spend behind bars before he can apply for parole, between 10 and 25.

In seeking 15 years, Crown Counsel Shirley Meldrum says a key aggravating factor is a terrified Stewart knew she was going to die.

“This was not sudden and unexpected,” said Meldrum. “She knew something was going to happen. She had fear and that fear went on for a period of time.”

The defence lawyer argues 10 to 12 years parole ineligibility is the appropriate sentence.

Donna Turko told the judge Krewson has turned his life around while in jail, becoming a born again Christian, taking addiction counselling and other programs and is deeply sorrowful for what he did.

In court Monday, Krewson tearfully apologized to his victim’s family and friends, saying: “I’ve never been as sorry in my whole life as I am today. I turn away from myself in the mirror at times. Forgive me. I know it’s a lot to ask but forgive me.”

The apology prompted an angry response from the public gallery where Stewart’s brother stood up, pointed at the convicted man, and said he didn’t accept the apology.

The judge quickly put an end to the exchange. He hopes to hand down his sentence decision on Wednesday.

After murdering Stewart, Krewson used the same revolver in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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