Robert Korbe sentenced to 25 years

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A federal judge this morning sentenced the man whose wife fatally shot an FBI agent while he attempted to serve an arrest warrant to 25 years in prison.

Robert Korbe, who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, gun and insurance fraud charges, faced a mandatory 20-year term. U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry could have given him as much as life in prison.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Rivetti presented evidence that Mr. Korbe threatened witnesses against him from jail, and even after pleading guilty continued to do so.

The lengthy sentence was created, in part, by Mr. Korbe having four previous felony drug or gun convictions.

A team of law enforcement agents went to Mr. Korbe's Indiana Township home early on the morning of Nov. 19, 2008, to serve the federal drug warrant on him. Instead of surrendering, Mr. Korbe ran to the basement of his home to try to get rid of cocaine he had hidden.

In the meantime, his wife, Christina, fired a single shot from upstairs as agents broke down the front door. The shot hit FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks, killing him.

Mrs. Korbe faces a variety of federal counts, including murder of a federal officer.

Though Judge McVerry told Mr. Korbe he was not being punished for Agent Hicks' death, he also said that it was the defendant's conduct that set the chain of events in motion.

"Unfortunately, it's patently clear your running away set the stage for what happened that tragic morning."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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