Slain east Cobb woman begged judge not to free her ex
December 28, 2012 08:17 AM | 14646 views | 36 36 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Judge Adele Grubbs
Judge Adele Grubbs
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ATLANTA (AP) — A woman stabbed to death in her suburban Atlanta home had pleaded with a judge not to release her ex-husband from jail, saying she feared she would not survive if he was free.

The ex-husband, 58-year-old John Stephen Kristofak, was apprehended Thursday at a Union City motel and charged with murder in the death of his 48-year-old ex-wife, Donna Nations Kristofak.

In October, Donna Kristofak begged Cobb County Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs not to release him from jail, saying she feared for her life and worried that a court order of protection from her ex-husband would not keep her safe. He was later released.

The judge said she couldn't comment on the case, but told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "you cannot predict human behavior."

The judge said that people asked a similar question after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

"After Newtown people ask, 'How can we stop someone before they do something?,'" Grubbs said. "We don't do that."

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Comments
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Jim Sternagle
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February 27, 2014
Apparently some people don't WANT to understand that it would be unlawful to keep someone incarcerated forever just because someone THINKS they may be harmful to them. I suppose if the Judge had done that she would not only have been removed but all of these SAME people, who are too cowardly to give their names, would be screaming about her keeping him incarcerated without the benefit of a trial.

It's a shame the Judge can't respond. I'll bet she could give them a lesson about how LAW works.
A Cobb Resident
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January 05, 2013
The Cobb County judicial system is fraught with problems and this Judge is one of them. There are some seriously incompetent judges sitting on the bench but the Cobb County lawyers who practice before them keep funding their campaigns in order to ensure favorable verdicts. All judges are not bought and paid for but Grubbs is. She is biased and given to gratuitous insults to people who come before her. Mary Staley is another one. SAD!
Larietta
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January 02, 2013
Judge Grubbs we expected better from you, but you had a failure of nerve. Resign now. You knew what to do, but ignored the responsibility your constituents entrusted you with; ensuring our safety. Judge Grubbs, by disregarding the pleas of Ms. Kristofak, and releasing Mr. Kristofak from incarceration, you ensured her murder, and should be charged as an accomplice to the crime.

May we suggest your next campaign slogan if you choose unwisely to run for reelection? "I only committed one murder this past term."

Judge Grubbs, know that you killed an innocent victim, Ms. Kristofak. We want you gone. Resign and leave the bench now. When we see you in public, which we do regularly, we will remind you and everyone around you that you allowed Ms. Kristofak to die. We hope this forces you to take responsibility for your action.

worried for victims
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January 09, 2013
This judge not only makes biased decisions, she intimidates, threatens and orders lawyers appearing in her courtroom and the clients they represent. She does not examine evidence, even when presented and listens to lies upon lies from one side, while refusing to even hear the other side. Families are destroyed. Children suffer. This person is not worthy of wearing the robe and should be disbarred for her behavior. God help those who must face her.
Worried in Cobb
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December 31, 2012
Judge Grubbs handled my divorce and custody case. My ex-wife is mentally unbalanced, I live in fear every day. There is little protection from people who have their own reality.
ProbablyPsychic
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January 08, 2013
Yes, and if you are who I think you are you're scared to death because you and your corrupt buddies are running a money laundering scheme that puts the mafia to shame... and after getting away with this monkey business for 20 years you're finally under investigation.

You pretend you're ex-wife is unbalanced and that you're the victim but it's pretty obvious who the bully really is.
Mary Anderson
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June 23, 2014
My daughter went before Judge Grubbs and the judge totally ignored the evidence. Our lawyer was literally shaking in her boots and did not challenge anything. What can we do to get rid of this "judge" who obviously should not be in this position. How many lives have to be ruined and how many people have to lose children or even their lives. Isn't this America anymore. Why do we stand for this? Where is our Governor. Where are our congressional representatives. This is unconscionable. And we have to nerve to criticize other governments when we do nothing? This must be stopped. Judge Grubbs, resign and finally do one right thing for the right reason.
Cobb Problem
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December 29, 2012
Cobb has gotten softer on crime. Always looking for a plea deal. Cobb used to be known as a hard knuckle county. But Cobb has become Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton County. Easy plea deals for criminals, because the prosecutors don't want to go to trial.

In Cobb Police lock criminals up and the DA's office and courts let them go to re-offend.

Name of the game in Cobb Courts... Plea Plea Plea!!! Clear the cases off the docket!!!!
Bobby in VA
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December 29, 2012
Donna should have purchased an AR-15 with a .38 cal. revolver. By the way, Donna predicted human behavior and the future!
Prediction
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December 29, 2012
I predict Judge Grubbs will retire soon.
Disgrace
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December 29, 2012
This is disgraceful. I just did a google search on this judge and found that she is extremely controversial with a high number of questionable cases and decisions. It is time for this judge to step down or be removed from office.
urmothersass
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December 30, 2012
News flash! People don't care! Judged especially! This is just a great example of how cruel this world really is.
Pissed in Mableton
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December 29, 2012
I bet if this was a liberal Fulton or Dekalb County judge, folks would be calling for her to be tossed from the bench.

Good job judge! I guess it explains why some of the criminals in Mableton are back on the street shortly after their arrests when we ask that no bond is given. After they commit another crime, you all shrug your shoulders.

Give her the boot!
Human in GA
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December 29, 2012
Whats stopping the conservatives in Cobb from demanding that she be tossed from the bench? God bless those boys who now have to carry on without their mother while you interject politics. Judge Grubbs needs to go!
Enlightened2
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December 28, 2012
Obtaining protection from serious threats of violence is next to impossible. If the ex-wife had a loaded pistol, she might have saved her own life. Courts are not going to protect potential victims. That's why guns are needed.
Self protection
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December 30, 2012
Exactly. The minute he was released on bond, she should have obtained a firearm and signed up for practice shooting. By the time the police get to you, it is already too late.

Please protect yourself and your children. If he had brought a knife to a gunfight, the story would have been different.

God bless the Kristofak children and the the family of Donna Kristofak. May you find peace some day soon.
The Bowtie Guy
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December 28, 2012
I witnessed Judge Grubbs in action. She makes hasty decisions often based on her relationship with the lawyers arguing before her. She lacks a judicial temperament and the objectivity that is required of a fair-minded judge. Added to that: Her knowledge of evidence and civil procedure is sorely lacking. This case is just another example of a judge incapable of dispensing justice.
whosyadaddy
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December 28, 2012
First I want to say that I don't blame Judge Grubbs for the failure here. But, it does bother me that she is so flippant about the fact that she feels not an iota of regret in this case (at least according to how she was quoted and I know the media is great about skewing spoken words).

The entire system is broken. Lawyers make the laws in Washington. Judges (aka Lawyers) adjudicate the laws. Lawyers defend the monsters against the law. And, all of them are getting big fat checks to do so...

suspthom
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December 28, 2012
Judge Grubbs did her job. The laws, prison system and protection order are not fair to victims...but given the case, she couldn't have done more since he took a plea. We don't have room in jails, we offer pleas, we have lax laws that need to give Honorable Judges such as Grubbs more options. She could have kept him in jail, appeal after appeal would have set him free with the plea. Victims' rights under current laws are a joke...it's not one judge or one case...it's a broken system. We also live in a broken world, where people do things that don't ever make sense...he clearly threatened suicide many times, but was a total liar. Judge was right. We can't predict what people will do. We can't know. All we can do is work within the laws we have to do our best and she did what she thought she could. This is tragic. So sad. And the blame isn't on Judge, it's on the man who did this.
she is right
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December 28, 2012
The judge is right, you cannot predict that. If she had given him life for a agg stalking charge then be would be complaining about that. She gave him a punishment appropriate for his charge. Most people would learn from that on move on. Unfortunately you cannot sentence people with mental health issues to life in prison.
Brian Smith
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December 29, 2012
This man was not diagnosed with any mental illness. The option was not to give him life in prison. It was to give him jail time instead of probation. Had he been in jail instead of out on probation, this tragedy never would have occurred.
At Brian
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December 31, 2012
No, you are wrong to say "this would not have happened." He was given jail time... he was in jail for seven months before the plea. He STILL killed her.

He was going to kill her regardless of what the Judge did, and the Judge is not the person responsible for the murder.

Windinhair
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December 28, 2012
This is the exact reason to support the second ammendment. I have a friend in a very similar situation and I am so glad she has the right and ability to protect herself!!
CobbCoGuy
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December 28, 2012
Exactly.
big bird
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December 28, 2012
the judge cant be blamed on those facts. courts cannot give 24 hour protection to victims and he served time for the charges in march..he had to get released at some point..lay off.
Powdertowner
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December 28, 2012
There is no comparison of this tragedy to the tragedy in Connecticut. You had evidence that this guy was explosive and the victim begged you not to release him because she feared for her life. A court order of protection isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Because of his past criminal history, this is a case where you could “predict human behavior.” You were wrong Judge Grubbs.
Gringo Bandito
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December 28, 2012
It seems to me that Donna Kristofak did a fine job of predicting human behavior.
Yes you can
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December 28, 2012
Stalking crimes are not carried out by the sane or those who respect laws. He sent email after email saying he would kill her. A standard psycholgical evaluation would have showed how nutty and dangerous this guy was, no family, no mney, shamed and bankrupt but yet Grubbs says she could not predict this. Looking at the aforementioned is like looking at a man falling from a plane with no parachute then proclaiming you had no idea that he would hit the ground. This is like a bad lifetime movie, stalking, helplessness, cops arrest, judges and lawyers let them go. There is legal, illegal and justice. This victim was shown no justice.
On your hands
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December 28, 2012
Really? The man was already in jail for coming after her. Your response is,"Oh well, we can't predict human behavior." You shouldn't be a judge then! You told her to keep her papers with her and when he comes after you, then call the police and we will lock him up. Congratulations Grubbs, now you can lock him up but there are two boys with out a mom now!
this is elsoeoeosw
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December 28, 2012
This is sad but atleast this victim did not back down on prosecuting him unlike most victims that call the cops and then dont want him punished after the fact.

predictabl judge ans
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December 29, 2012
the judges comparison was rediculous. You got it wrong this time Judge Grubbs. Are you gonna raise these two boys that do not have a mom and their dad will be locked up for life?
was there
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July 14, 2013
u r all running on mis-informed emotions. the judge dd only was she was allowed to do by law. to do otherwise would be diregarding her sworn oath. get a grip and use common sense. if the victim had been smart she would have be more aware of her circumstances and armed herself. At some point we have to protect ourseleves and not rely on the government to do it.
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