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A 49-year-old Fairbanks woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the fatal 2016 shooting of her husband.

Under the terms of a plea agreement reached with the state, Mary Edna Gansman will be sentenced to 20 years of active jail time, with a minimum of 20 years suspended time on top of that.

Gansman entered the plea Monday and will be formally sentenced Nov. 26 at which time the facts of the case and statements from Gansman and the victim’s family members will be heard. 

According to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court, Gansman shot Steve Hallonen, 66, multiple times at their west Fairbanks home late on the night of Dec. 9, 2016. Gansman called Hallonen’s daughter afterward and said she shot him because he was trying to strangle her.

The daughter reported it to Alaska State Troopers, who arrived to find Hallonen dead in a chair and Gansman pacing around the home. Gansman told troopers Hallonen shot himself with a revolver found next to him on a kitchen table. Gansman also suggested Hallonen shot himself several times, then said he “maybe” shot himself once and that she shot him several more times after that, according to the complaint.

Gansman was charged with one count of first-degree murder with intent to cause death, one count of second-degree murder with intent to cause serious injury, and one count of second-degree murder with extreme indifference to human life. She pleaded guilty to the third charge, which has a presumptive sentencing range of 15 to 99 years.

The judge can impose more than the 20 years suspended time agreed to in the plea deal, but Gansman’s active time to serve is set at 20 years, according to Assistant District Attorney Tom Hoffer. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582.

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