Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Pittsburgh Media's Trial of Christine Korbe.

About a month ago, an FBI agent named Samuel Hicks was shot and killed during a raid on a house in the Pittsburgh area. On November 19th, Hicks and seven other agents staged an operation to roust Robert Korbe at his house in Glenshaw. Mr. Korbe was alleged to be participating in a drug trafficking ring, and warrants had been issued for his arrest. It was early in the morning when Hicks and his colleagues apparently banged loudly on Korbe's front door, announcing their presence and intentions to take custody of Robert. Reportedly, the wanted man decided to turn fugitive, rushing to dispose of drugs located within the house before attempting a stealthy getaway through his back door.

While her husband was trying to escape, bullets were fired somewhere in the front interior of the house, and Agent Hicks was struck with what turned out to be a fatal wound. He had a protective vest on, but the slug glanced off his collarbone and caused irrevocable damage to his internal organs. The shot had been delivered by Christine Korbe, Robert's wife. According to her testimony, she believed she was protecting her two young children from a home invasion. Despite the FBI's account of the incident which had its agents loudly proclaiming their presence, Mrs. Korbe says that she had no idea who they were. Still she has been charged with murder. Hicks died shortly after being taken to the hospital.

We'll never know for sure what happened in the Korbe household on that November day. Chrissy Korbe claims that she fired her 38-caliber revolver blindly around a corner and down the steps leading to the second floor. She then ran back to her bedroom and dialed 9-11, while the agents tried to administer emergency medical attention to Hicks. Robert Korbe was apprehended trying to exit through the back door. Instead of celebrating the successful capture of a drug dealer, Western Pennsylvania authorities now prepared themselves for a trial concerning the shooting death of a federal employee. Christine Korbe, who had no criminal record before the incident, now faces the death penalty.

Local media reaction to the story was immediately polarized. The hack talk-show hosts on radio station KDKA 1020 proclaimed Christine Korbe guilty of intentionally killing Agent Hicks. Her husband's reported involvement in the illicit trade of narcotics was used as circumstantial evidence to condemn her in the court of public opinion. Eager listeners called in to voice their own opinions, many of which were delivered with unjustified confidence and the presumption of guilt. It was amazing just how many folks seemed to think they had infallible insight into the circumstances of Hick's death. Agent Hicks became an instant martyr struck down in the crusade against the evils of drugs.

Samuel Hicks was a young man with a promising career, a wife, and a two-year-old child. The fact that he died while attempting to serve the public in the capacity of law enforcement is an undeniable tragedy. Still, society's best interests cannot be served with assumptions and unqualified judgements. Whether or not the Korbes are a couple of "scumbags" has no bearing on the case that is about to appear before the bench. Pittsburgh hasn't been the frontier for well over 175 years, and there is no reason why its citizens should resort to a vigilante mentality aimed at swift and unquestioning justice. There will be plenty of time and opportunity to establish the details of this incident... so why are so many impatiently insisting on blood-for-blood?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the many taped conversations that "Chrissy" had with her family in which she threatens her mother-in-law, threatens a witness, refers to SA Hicks as the "M-fing" cop, etc, etc ,etc shed any light on the character of this women?


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media is just reporting the facts. They, like you Merge Divide,use words like "roust" to convey their FACTS. Personally, I hope Chrissy Korbe is put to a slow and painful state sponsored death. If not,I will remind her daily of her children that she will never be able to hug again.

1:30 PM  

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