PITTSBURGH — A federal judge has rejected a bid for a reduced sentence for a western Pennsylvania woman convicted in the shooting death of an FBI agent during a pre-dawn drug raid at her home almost eight years ago.
U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry said Tuesday that Christina Korbe, 47, agreed not to challenge the 15-year, 10 month sentence imposed when she pleaded guilty to shooting FBI agent Sam Hicks in Indiana Township in November 2008.
Her attorneys in June cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision that has forced the federal court system nationwide to re-examine sentences for gun offenders.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Rivetti pointed to her agreement not to challenge the term under the January 2011 plea bargain.
“The government has complied with its promises under the plea agreement that it negotiated with defendant Korbe,” Rivetti wrote. “She has not.”
Prosecutors agreed to the 190-month sentence after dropping drug-trafficking conspiracy and weapons charges carrying a minimum 45-year prison sentence in return for Korbe’s plea to the firearms charge and voluntary manslaughter.
Judge McVerry agreed with prosecutors, saying he questioned Korbe extensively before the plea and she knew what was happening.
“Korbe affirmed that she understood her rights and agreed to waive them,” he said.
Hicks, a 33-year-old married father of a toddler, was shot when he was the first officer in the door during the raid targeting Korbe’s husband, Robert, who’s now serving 25 years in prison for cocaine trafficking.
Christina Korbe’s attorneys have portrayed her as a soccer mom largely unaware of her husband’s dealings. She tearfully apologized during sentencing but also blamed the FBI’s tactics, saying “the element of surprise is not worth someone’s life.”
Korbe also sought a sentence reduction three years ago, arguing that she made “exceptional” rehabilitation efforts in prison, which included drug abuse courses and earning a GED diploma. Prosecutors called those efforts commendable but routine.