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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘You killed their mommy’: Man gets nearly 15 years in prison for strangling girlfriend in Spokane, but requested higher sentence for himself

The Spokane County Courthouse is seen in this August 2020 photo.  (DAN PELLE/The Spokesman-Review)

A convicted killer asked a judge Friday to give him a harsher sentence moments after the judge delivered a nearly 15-year prison term.

Corbin Hood claimed the 175-month sentence – recommended by the prosecution and defense and handed down by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Dean Chuang – was “too light.”

Chuang maintained the sentence, and the roughly one-hour court hearing dominated by tearful victim impact statements from Stephanie Stine’s family ended.

Hood, 31, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder after strangling Stine, 30, in the summer of 2022 in West Central Spokane.

Hood made several calls to other people before calling 911, gave dispatchers a fake name and fled to Florida after her death, according to court documents.

Lindsey Meadows, Stine’s mother, said Friday her daughter lived in constant pain and was “chronically ill” from “debilitating health conditions.” She said Stine tried to take care of her two daughters, but Meadows often helped out.

“She wanted to be independent,” said Meadows, saying Stine’s illnesses prevented that.

Meadows said Stine helped Hood from the start, but Hood lied, used and manipulated Stine.

“She needed someone to care for her and love her, and she thought that was you for a long time,” Meadows told Hood.

She said Stine was done with Hood’s lies and was getting away from Hood for her and her children’s sake, which is why Hood killed her, Meadows said.

Now, Stine’s daughters’ lives are forever changed, she said.

“You killed their mommy” and “my baby girl,” Meadows said.

“You crushed our family.”

Meadows and several other of Stine’s loved ones fought back tears while addressing the court and listening to family members speak. Hood sat next to his attorney, Matthew Harget, and looked down with his hands on his head during much of the victims’ testimonies.

Janet Sullivan, Stine’s stepmother, said she hoped Hood saw every loved one’s face in court Friday when he goes to sleep at night.

“I hope you realize you have caused scars on so many hearts,” Sullivan said.

Donald Sullivan, Stine’s father, said he had to put on a happy face every day at work knowing his daughter was dead.

“You could have walked away, but you didn’t,” he said. “You chose to murder my daughter with your bare hands.”

Hood, wearing red Spokane County Jail inmate clothing, said he did not expect Stine’s family to forgive him.

“I’m never going to forgive myself,” he said, crying throughout his statement and shaking his head at times.

He said he’s tried to overdose on pills, while Hagert said Hood has been on suicide watch while incarcerated.

Hood said he took responsibility for what he did, but it wasn’t “on purpose,” saying he “freaked out.”

“Words can’t even explain how sorry I am,” he said. “Sorry don’t cut it, though, because someone died, and you can’t reverse that.”

Police responded the morning of July 24, 2022, to 1417 W. Boone Ave. after Hood called 911 saying his girlfriend was dead, according to documents.

Officers detained Hood on the back porch and found Stine dead on a bedroom floor, documents say.

Hood had lied to 911 dispatchers that his name was “Steven J. Stine” and that he was in Walla Walla, court records say.

Hood denied any physical altercation with Stine and said he did not kill her.

Hood told police Stine went to a downtown “club” the previous night. Hood said he had four or five shots of Jack Daniel’s whiskey at the Boone Avenue home and passed out on the living room couch around midnight or 12:30.

He said he did not hear Stine get home that night, and around 6:30 or 7 a.m. he found Stine, who lived with Hood at the home, unresponsive on the floor.

Hood said he did a Google search on how to tell if someone is dead, called 911 and performed life-saving measures.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled in November that Stine was strangled. It said Stine also had blunt force injuries to her head, torso and extremities.

Two family members told police Stine and Hood argued leading up to the death. Phone records also showed Hood and Stine arguing via text message the morning of her death.

Phone records indicated Hood made and received multiple phone calls before calling 911, court records say.

A woman told authorities Hood came to her work the day of Stine’s death saying he and a male roommate got into a fight and the roommate died. She said Hood claimed self-defense.

She told police Hood stayed with her for a few nights.

The woman told police that Hood then told her the roommate who died was a woman, not a man, and that he and the roommate started arguing, it got physical and “it went too far,” according to documents.

She said Hood told her he had her neck in a hold, and at some point, she was not breathing.

The woman said Hood kept crying that it was self-defense and that he would never intentionally hurt someone.

The woman told police Hood also talked about bus tickets if things were to “go south,” documents say.

Hood, a felon, was arrested on unrelated charges later that year and booked into a jail in Clearwater, Florida, documents say.

Karen Hood, Corbin Hood’s adoptive mother, said Friday her son was a “very loving” child and that she couldn’t believe what happened that day.

“My heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by this horrific killing,” she said.

Harget, Corbin Hood’s attorney, said the killing was “very out of character” for his client.

He said the deck was stacked against Hood from the start of Hood’s life, saying he was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Harget said Hood’s mental health issues and alcohol use likely affected his judgment the day he killed Stine.

Chuang said Hood took responsibility, but that “you did take a life of another individual for no reason.”

He said he hoped the sentence provides the family some closure and starts the healing process.

Chuang said Stine seemed to be “a very beautifull person inside and out.”

“It’s tragic,” he said. “Her daughters are motherless now, and she’s gone.”

Hood, who was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, will be given credit for time served and will serve three years of community custody when he’s released from prison.