PITTSBURGH,None — A Pittsburgh-area woman who shot a federal agent to death during an early morning raid on her home pleaded guilty Tuesday but said federal agents share the blame for the deadly confrontation.
RAW: Slain FBI Agent's Wife Talks After Sentencing
Christina Korbe, 42, was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months in prison in the 2008 shooting death of Special Agent Samuel Hicks after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges.
She apologized to Hicks' wife and family but affixed some of the blame for his death on law enforcement agencies that descended on her home to arrest her husband on drug charges.
"The element of surprise is not worth someone's life," Korbe said.
Korbe had repeatedly claimed she fired on officers who raided her Indiana Township home because she thought they were intruders.
Hicks, 33, of Richland Township, was killed by one shot that struck him just above his bulletproof vest. He left behind a wife and toddler son.
During the hearing Hicks' widow Brooke told the court, "I will never be able to forgive her [Korbe] for what she did to me and Noah."
Channel 11's Alan Jennings was in court for the testimony. He reports that Hicks' son was an infant when he died.
PHOTOS: Federal Agents, Family Of Samuel Hicks Hold News Conference
Brooke Hicks went on to say, "I must explain to Noah that a woman on drugs killed his daddy. Noah will never get excited again when he heard his daddy is coming home."
Prosecutors insisted that Hicks and other law officers loudly and clearly identified themselves before using a battering ram to bust through the Korbes' door.
Charlotte Carrabotta, the slain agent's mother, disputed Korbe's claim that she fired to protect her family, including her two children.
"Christina Korbe was not protecting her children," Carrabotta said. "Samuel was protecting her children."
Investigators had also pointed toward the actions taken by Korbe's husband during the raid as proof that agents had clearly identified themselves. The morning Hicks died, Robert Korbe immediately ran downstairs to dispose of cocaine and took other evasive actions that prosecutors contend prove he knew Hicks and the others were law enforcement officers.
Despite the government's arguments that Korbe purposely targeted Hicks, the plea leaves open the possibility that she fired the gun intentionally but didn't necessarily know what was going on. A component of voluntary manslaughter is an emotional state fueled by anger, fear, terror or rage.
Robert Korbe pleaded guilty last year to the cocaine trafficking charges that brought Hicks and the other officers to his home that morning. He is serving 25 years in prison -- nine more than his wife faces.
Previous Stories: January 13, 2011: 350 Jurors Sought For Pittsburgh FBI Agent Shooting Trial January 6, 2011: Accused FBI Killer's Family Declares Her Innocence In Downtown Pittsburgh September 28, 2010: Defense Wants Jail Calls Tossed In Agent's Death September 24, 2010: Accused FBI Killer's Husband Gets 25 Years September 2, 2010: Jail Guard Linked To FBI Slaying Case To Be Fired August 18, 2010: Trial Date Set For Woman Accused In FBI Agent's Death May 4, 2010: Defense Wants Woman's Statement Suppressed In FBI Agent Slaying