Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs sentenced Kristofak to 10 years in prison Wednesday for violating probation in an earlier aggravated stalking and family violence simple battery case involving his former wife, Donna Nations Kristofak, whom he is now charged with murdering.
John Kristofak pleaded guilty the aggravated stalking charges on Oct. 13, 2012, and Grubbs sentenced him to four years and five months probation, as well as seven months in jail, most of which he had already served. He was also permanently barred from having contact with Donna Kristofak, 48.
John Kristofak is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, aggravated stalking and two firearms possession charges related to Donna Kristofak’s Dec. 22 stabbing death in the garage of her east Cobb home.
But District Attorney Vic Reynolds was able to avoid using the events of that day as a reason to revoke probation, since John Kristofak failed to get the psychiatric evaluation that was required in Grubbs’s original sentence. That was enough to revoke his probation.
“It prevents us from having to use up evidence,” Reynolds said after the hearing. “We don’t have to air out anything in court.”
In front of nine of Donna Kristofak’s family members, Grubbs told John Kristofak that he failed to live up to the plea agreement.
“I clearly explained to Mr. Kristofak what would happen if he violated any of the conditions,” she said. “He, in fact, did not do anything he was supposed to do. He never made an attempt to do any of it.”
Donna Kristofak’s family members wept and sighed after Grubbs announced the sentence.
Reynolds said he decided against seeking the death penalty against John Kristofak, calling the death penalty a “stretch” in the murder case.
Reynolds said he was pleased with Grubbs’ sentence Wednesday, the maximum allowable in the case, and didn’t have a problem with the one she handed down last year against John Kristofak.
“I think the sentence in October was appropriate,” he said. “There was nothing unusual or odd about it.”
John Kristofak is credited with the seven months he served in jail related to the aggravated stalking case. But it will be of little use to him if he is convicted of murder. He would face life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 40 years.
John Kristofak, with bouffant-styled hair, entered the courtroom shackled and wearing an orange Cobb jail-issued jumpsuit. He sat silently during the hearing.
Mitch Durham of Marietta, John Kristofak’s court-appointed attorney, said he didn’t want to discuss the sentence.
“I have plenty of thoughts, but I don’t want to comment,” he said.
After Donna Kristofak’s death, John Kristofak led police on a five-day search before he was caught Dec. 27 in a Union City motel, 30 miles south of Marietta. He is also charged with the robbery of a drug store in Fayetteville while he was on the run.
While trying to evade police, John Kristofak sent several emails to the Marietta Daily Journal, including one in which he wrote, “There is no justifying what i did and im sure i will burn in hell for it.” (sic)