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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

[CA] Finally, Ex-Deputy Kovacich convicted of murdering Janet

...The verdict ends a mystery that has haunted authorities since Janet Kovacich, then 27 and the mother of two young children, disappeared... During the trial, prosecutors argued that the couple's marriage was on the rocks... Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her abusive husband...

Previous entries:
- [CA] Janet Kovacich, a deputy's wife, disappeared.
- [CA] Kidnap added to murder-of-Janet Kovacich charge
- [CA] Justice for slain deputy's wife Janet Kovacich delayed again
- [CA] The gun that killed Sgt's wife, Janet Kovacich, may have been located

Sacramento Bee, USA - 1 hour ago
By Chelsea Phua and Sam Stanton
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009
[EXCERPTS] All through the years, Paul R. Kovacich Jr. maintained he knew nothing about his wife's disappearance in 1982. For most of that time, he refused to discuss the case - except to argue in legal filings that Janet Kovacich wasn't really dead, even though no one had seen her since she vanished from the couple's Auburn home Sept. 8, 1982, following an argument with her husband. On Tuesday, a Placer County jury decided Kovacich, a Placer County sheriff's sergeant at the time of the disappearance, had been lying all along and convicted him of first-degree murder. "It's a 26-year-old case, and I am absolutely overjoyed that the jury saw what people in the community had known for years," said David Tellman, the 41-year-old prosecutor who had shepherded the case since Kovacich was indicted in 2006. Kovacich, 58, faces 25 years to life in prison for a crime that many thought would never be solved... The conviction came after four months of trial, 77 witnesses and 750 exhibits. Kovacich never took the stand in the case, which relied largely on circumstantial evidence... For much of the trial, Kovacich's daughter, Kristi, who was 7 at the time of her mother's disappearance, had been in the courtroom. She testified on his behalf at one point but was not present Tuesday. Janet Kovacich's older brother Gary Gregoire had testified for the prosecution and said from his Colorado home Tuesday that he was "very happy that we've got justice for Janet"... The verdict ends a mystery that has haunted authorities since Janet Kovacich, then 27 and the mother of two young children, disappeared. At the time, Paul Kovacich claimed he and his wife had been discussing a separation, and that he left the home after an argument... She had disappeared on a Wednesday, but Kovacich didn't mention it to anyone until Thursday, when he told a police sergeant that his wife was gone but he did not want to file a missing person report... Kovacich remained with the Sheriff's Department until 1992. In January 1995, over his objections, a judge declared his wife dead and said she died the day of her disappearance... During the trial, prosecutors argued that the couple's marriage was on the rocks, that there was a "preponderance evidence of domestic violence" in their lives and that Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her abusive husband. He allegedly kicked their dog, a German shepherd, to death. Prosecutors contended he pushed her off a boat once, yanked her from a movie theater and insulted her in front of friends. "Sept. 8, 1982, was to be the first day of Janet's new life," Tellman said during the trial, adding that she had decided to move her children to a new school and had begun taking classes that summer. "She was ripped from the lives of so many people," Tellman said in his closing statement. "Only one person stood to gain so much, one person with a motive to make her disappear. And that person was the defendant Paul Kovacich"... [Full article here]
[ca politics, officer involved domestic violence, murder, cold case]

1 comment:


    [CA] LATE & RAGGEDY, BUT FINALLY, JUSTICE FOR JANET KOVACICH - killed by her deputy husband 26 years ago


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