Cobb man pleads guilty to killing ex-wife

A Cobb County man facing trial for murdering his ex-wife chose instead to plead guilty Tuesday to killing her in the home they once shared.

John S. Kristofak, 58, was sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting Donna Nations Kristofak last December, three days before Christmas. The couple had been married for 19 years before divorcing in August 2011. One month later, Donna Kristofak filed a restraining order.

The harassment would not stop there.

“His son was there, that’s his one raw nerve. If he’s sorry about anything, he’s sorry about that,” Cobb County Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary said.

Harrison Kristofak, 17, discovered his mother unresponsive in the garage of their home near Walton High School. She died later at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.

Harrison was going to be called to testify against his father, the prosecutor said, which prompted Donna Kristofak’s family to consent to the plea deal.

John Kristofak pleaded guilty to malice murder and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

“That transcended hate,” Geary said. “He’ll be 88 years old before he’s even eligible for parole. And he won’t get it. He’ll die in prison.”

Kristofak, 58, was also sentenced to five years on the weapon possession charge and another 10 years for a probation violation related to a stalking charge.

The harassment of his ex-wife began last March, roughly seven months after the couple’s divorce. Kristofak would call her at work, according to court documents, using “vile, vulgar language to her and her coworkers.”

On March 19 he’s alleged to have sent an email to his former spouse that read: “You are in danger — protect yourself. No one can help you at this point. You won’t know where it is coming from.”

One week later, he erected posters in front of her house accusing her of “vile, vulgar sexual things,” a warrant states.

Finally, on March 29, he was arrested after chasing Donna Kristofak in a Walmart parking lot. A butcher knife and suicide note were found in his car, police said.

Kristofak remained incarcerated until October, when he cut a plea deal to serve seven months in jail and the remainder of a five-year term on probation. At the time, Donna Kristofak said she feared for her life.

After his ex-wife was found dead on Dec. 22, a massive manhunt ensued for Kristofak, who was arrested five days later at a Motel 6 in Union City.

He’s being held at Cobb County jail pending transport to a state prison, Geary said.