19-year-old Sabrina Zunich has been arrested for the murder of her foster mother, Lisa Knoefel. Zunich was reportedly persuaded to commit the heinous act by none other than her foster father and Knoefel’s husband, Kevin Knoefel. The teen says she fell in love with Mr. Knoefel after the two began a sexual relationship.
The two unlikely lovers began to hatch their murderous plan back in 2012. Knoefel’s motivation was $785,000 in various life insurance policies which he had taken out on his wife. The 43-year-old Ohio man was also afraid of losing custody of his 3-year-old daughter if he took the traditional route and just divorced his wife.
Apparently, several plans to kill Lisa Knoefel were discussed, including shooting her and making it look like a burglary, or finding a hit man. In the end, Zunich ended up stabbing her foster mother 178 times. Such a gruesome attack could have only been the result of years of pent up rage, though the young girl said, “I was doing what I was told to do.” She now faces up to 23 years in prison for aggravated murder.
Zunich was just 17 when she killed 41-year-old Lisa Knoefel with a 10-inch serrated kitchen knife. She claims that she felt her foster father would commit suicide is she didn’t relieve him of his marriage. Lisa Knoefel was asleep in her bed when she fell victim to the fatal attack. She attempted to fight back, but was ultimately unsuccessful in overpowering Zunich.
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Mr. Knoefel was convicted of six counts of sexual battery against Zunich, three counts of complicity to aggravated murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. He will spend the next 25 years in prison if he does not win an appeal.
This story is upsetting on so many levels. Kevin Knoefel took advantage of a young girl who had grown up in a system which pre-conditioned her to want to please him and seek his affection. He knew full well of her weaknesses and took advantage of them. Now his wife is dead and the child whom he was charged to care for is facing decades behind bars. The most despicable criminal in this case is Mr. Knoefel. They ought to lock him up and throw away the key.