By Katie Conner/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore. -- The family of a murdered man is speaking out, saying his wife killed him, even though she had other options to escape the domestic abuse.
Back in 2005, Wendy Maldonado killed her husband Aaron.
Court records show Aaron abused Wendy and their four sons.
Wendy says in 2005, her life came down to two options: kill or be killed. With the help of her 17-year-old son Randy, the two killed Aaron with a hammer and hatchet.
Even though the courts agreed that Wendy was tortured for years, she was still sentenced to prison. Oregon law requires a person be in imminent danger in order to take another person's life. Aaron was asleep when he was killed.
Wendy and Randy never went to trial. Instead the two accepted a plea bargain. The presiding judge called the case the "worst case of domestic violence any of us have ever seen."
Randy was sentenced to six years in prison and Wendy was sentenced to ten.
Today, Randy is out of prison, living with his three brothers. However, Wendy is now seeking clemency from Gov. John Kitzhaber, hoping for an early release.
Wendy's lawyer, Mark Lansing, says Wendy killed Aaron out of fear and because she had no other options.
"We're not suggesting that the killing did not occur," Lansing said. "We're suggesting it was justified in the circumstances, even though is doesn't fit within Oregon's definition of justifiable homicide."
Maribeth Bishop is Aaron's Aunt. She says the killing was premeditated.
"Regardless of the choices of her life, everyone has a choice and she made a choice to take someone's life," Bishop said.
Bishop says her nephew's marriage didn't seem in trouble and she didn't see any signs of abuse.
"What the family wants to make known is there isn't any reason for Wendy to get out early," Bishop said. "She has three years left. She agreed to it. Regardless of the choices of her life, everyone has a choice and she made a choice to take someone's life."Click here to watch "The Maldonado Case: Hearing From the Other Side, Part 1"Click here to watch "The Maldonado Case: Hearing From the Other Side, Part 2"