Teen indicted for murder in foster mother’s death

CLEVELAND (AP) — A teenager who testified that her foster father convinced her to kill his wife was indicted Tuesday on a charge of aggravated murder.

Sabrina Zunich, 19, has been in Lake County Jail east of Cleveland since police found her covered in blood and holding a kitchen knife in her foster family’s home on Nov. 16, 2012. Lisa Knoefel, 41, had been stabbed numerous times during an attack in her bedroom.

Zunich testified for the prosecution during Kevin Knoefel’s trial last month. She said that she and Kevin Knoefel had been having a romantic relationship. Zunich was 17 when Lisa Knoefel was slain.

A jury convicted the 43-year-old Kevin Knoefel of complicity to commit aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and sexual battery. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 6 and faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life.

The teen’s testimony against her foster father was part of a plea deal. Prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to sentence Zunich to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years.

Lake County Prosecutor Charles Coulson declined to comment about case. Zunich’s attorney did not return telephone calls.

Zunich testified that she had fallen in love with her foster father and feared he would commit suicide if she didn’t kill Lisa Knoefel.

Knoefel picked out the 10-inch serrated kitchen knife and showed her how to plunge it in once and twist, she said. She hid the weapon under her bedroom dresser. She said they discussed several plans to kill Lisa Knoefel, including shooting her and making it look like a burglary, or finding a hit man.


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