Judge Releases Man After He Threatens to Kill Ex-Wife -- Now She’s Dead & He’s Been Arrested

OMG 32

knifeAtlanta-area woman Donna Kristofak was afraid that her ex-husband, who was serving time for threatening to kill her, would do something to harm her, again, once he was released from prison, so she went to the courts. Her ex, John Kristofak, had cut a deal that shortened his five-year prison sentence to seven months, allowing him to serve the rest on probation, and Donna wanted it on court records that she feared for her life.

She told the judge that he would kill her if released, and the judge, who offered her sympathy, said the best she could do was issue a "no contact" order, and she promised to throw John in jail if he so much as called Donna.

About two and a half months after that, Donna was murdered.

Joe had made good on his previous threats and allegedly stabbed her to death in her garage. He's been arrested for her murder.

When the judge found out what had happened, she commented that "you cannot predict human behavior", and drew a parallel between the questions of "why" surrounding the Sandy Hook massacre and Donna and John's case.

There is, however, a major difference between these two circumstances. One murderer threatened to kill, left harassing, violent, and sexually explicit messages for his intended victim, planted posters in her yard accusing her of vile things, and chased her around a Walmart parking lot with a butcher's knife and suicide note. The other just showed up one day at an elementary school and opened fire.

John said what he was going to do, and he supposedly did it. Doesn't get any more predictable than that, does it. Donna saw it coming and even confirmed with the judge, “May I ask, your honor, that it is on the record that I fear for my life?” The judge said it was. I'm surprised she didn't see the very clearly written writing on the wall.

Had John not been able to shorten his sentence by four years and five months, Donna would still be alive today. But because his actions didn't worry anyone else other than his victim, he was released on probation.

Donna told the court that a piece of paper, the "no contact" order, wouldn't stop him from killing her, and it apparently only took him a matter of weeks to make good on his promise.

Hopefully, in the future, if someone like Donna makes a plea for their life, their wanna-be killer won't be released early.

What do you think of this case?


Photo via Walt Stoneburner/Flickr



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tbruc... tbrucemom

I think this is a perfect example of why the 2nd amendment exists. If she had a gun, she probably would still be alive.

nonmember avatar Cass

NO, tbrucemom. I am an avid supporter of gun rights too- but this is not an appropriate place to put your soapbox. There is no evidence she did not own a gun. There is no evidence that she ever wanted a gun- remember that people are allowed to choose not to have a gun. And most importantly, this is not the victim's fault. It is the fault of the judge and legal system that failed her and the fault of the actual perpetrator of the crime.

nonmember avatar Liz

This is disgusting. There are people serving life sentences for non-violent crimes, while people who threaten murder (or even commit murder) are given slaps on the wrist (relatively speaking). Our justice system is so broken.

Carme... Carmen8706

I think this is evidence of poor judgment on the Judge's part and Judge Grubbs should be punished.

worki... workingmama86

The judge had too much pride to admit that Donna pleaded for her life. The justice system is fucked up!

katat... katatrinakay

Bad decision on the judge's behalf or not, this is the sad truth about t the so called"justice system." Criminals getting out on technicalities everywhere. People sexually offending our children and our children's statements being dismissed because mom didn't ask the questions right and the pervert was a smooth talker. Women being denied restraining orders because they are terrified and unable to PROVE that they are fearful for their lives.... its a sad place that we live in... giving criminals the upper hand is not the way we should be headef...

dirti... dirtiekittie

granted, no you can't "predict human behavior" but you sure as hell can read all the signs out in the front yard! unfortunately, our justice system in general is a reactionary process - not proactive. they do not prevent, they merely try to punish when someone has done wrong. 

i'm so very saddened to hear about this woman's tragic end. i hope the judge does some serious thinking and reflecting on this whole situation and is punished for her obvious neglect of this situation. to dismiss a woman who was so fearful of her life - and to be another woman at that! - is just heartless. and unfortunately donna had to pay with her life. RIP, my thoughts are with her family & friends. 

nonmember avatar Littlefrogs

Why wasn't he hospitalized? That kind of behavior is not only criminal but psychopathic. He belonged in an institution. He was clearly a danger to others. He could have been held against his will.

nonmember avatar Emily

Im sad that a life was lost. I'm glad the son of a bitch is in jail ( where he should have been in the first place ) and it makes me so SO pissed that the judge tried to make a parallel between this and sandy hook. Like the author said this could be seen coming a mile away - and because if some ridiculous technicality it was allowed to happen. What an arrogant soulless bitch this judge is!

kelti... kelticmom

That judge should be charged with accessory to murder! Disgusting.

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