FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) A woman who pled guilty in June of this year to murdering her boyfriend has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison with an additional 30 years suspended. Mary Gansman, 49, of Fairbanks, pled guilty to second degree murder on June 7. She had originally been charged with one count of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder.
Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle spent the last two days listening to arguments about how much suspended time he should impose on Gansman. The prosecution had requested 40 years of suspended time while the defense had requested 20 years. Lyle said he didn’t make his decision of 30 years to be in the middle of the two times, but used the facts of the case to make the best possible ruling.
According to charging documents, Gansman shot her boyfriend, 66-year-old Steven Halonen multiple times. After the shooting, troopers say that she called Halonen’s daughter who lived in Minnesota and told her that she had shot her father after he allegedly attempted to strangle her.
Halonen’s daughters attended the sentencing hearing and spoke to Gansman. They said that they wanted Gansman to feel some of the pain she caused them.
“I will tell you exactly how I feel about you, and hopefully by the end you will feel at least a sliver of pain that we feel,” Jenna Halonen said. “And know a little bit of what we went through. You know how much I loved my father, and you knew he was my best friend, I had spoken with him that evening. Four hours later I get a call from you letting me know you did it."
“My father was not a perfect man, but he was a person,” Jessica Halonen said through tears. “He did not deserve this; he did not deserve to be taken from us like this.”
Troopers responded after Jenna Halonen reported that Gansman had shot Halonen. They located Gansman at the residence, Halonen was found with multiple gunshot wounds.
During an interview, Gansman said she had called 911, which she had not done. She also made no claims that Halonen had assaulted her and denied calling his daughter. She also suggested that maybe Halonen had shot himself multiple times or that maybe he had shot himself once and then she had shot him several more times.
Jenna Halonen spoke to us after the sentence was handed down. "It is finally coming to a closure for my... well it's not a closure, we are always going to miss my father... but a closure for at least a piece of it," Jenna Halonen said.
Gansman will be eligible for mandatory parole in 2030. As part of her sentence she is also required to seek mental health care.
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