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A national petition drive is urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to free an Oakland County woman convicted of killing her husband, arguing that Tina Talbot was a victim of domestic violence.

Thousands of people across the country have signed the petition at change.org in support of Talbot, who admitted to fatally shooting her husband last September in their Waterford home.

Talbot, 52, was sentenced April 4 to 20 months to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in February to manslaughter in the death of Milosz Szczepanowicz, 45.

As of Monday afternoon, 29,975 people had signed the petition. Organizers' goal is to get 35,000 signatures.

In a statement Monday, Whitmer press secretary Tiffany Brown said, "The Governor's Office has not received a pardon application for Ms. Talbot."

Talbot's defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said his client was "severely abused" by her husband, whom Sabbota called a "brutal man."

"There are pictures (that) document the abuse," he said, adding that Talbot was afraid to leave her husband out of fear that he would find her and kill her. The couple has a 7-year-old son with special needs. He is now staying with his grandparents.

Sabbota said Talbot had been abused for two decades and was beaten so badly two days before his death that she had to get medical treatment.

"He breaks her arm, beats her with a chair," said Sabbota. "The next two days he rapes her, beats and does all kinds of things."

Talbot, according to the petition, "ended 20 years of violent physical abuse to save herself and her 7-year-old son. Seven month later, Tina was sentenced to prison. Tina is not a criminal. She is a victim of domestic violence."

Sabbota said Talbot pleaded guilty because she was facing open murder and felony firearms arms charges and thought she would get less time in prison by pleading guilty to a lesser offense.

Efforts to reach Milosz Szczepanowicz's family members Monday were unsuccessful. 

The Detroit News left a message seeking comment with the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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