Kovacich trial from the prosecution's eyes

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On Friday, former Placer Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Kovacich Jr. was sentenced to 27-years-to-life in prison for murdering his wife in 1982. The sentence followed a January conviction during which a jury found Kovacich guilty of first-degree murder with the use of a firearm in the Sept. 8, 1982 death and disappearance of his wife, Janet Kovacich. According to a release issued by the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, the evidence presented during Paul Kovacich Jr.’s four-month trial is summarized as followed: - Prior to Janet Kovacich’s disappearance in 1982, she was an Auburn homemaker looking after her and Paul Kovacich’s two children John, 5, and Kristi, 7. Paul Kovacich was a Placer sheriff’s sergeant assigned to the county jail. - Prosecutors alleged Paul Kovacich was the last person to see his wife alive. On the day she disappeared, a neighbor driving Janet Kovacich’s children to school was the last person other than Paul Kovacich to see Janet Kovacich, 27 at the time, at about 8 a.m. A school secretary was the last person other than the defendant to talk to Janet Kovacich on the phone at about 10 a.m. - From that last phone call, Janet Kovacich was never seen or heard from again. Law enforcement investigations found no vehicles were missing from the home nor was there evidence of a break-in. The Kovacich’s family police dog was also home the morning Janet Kovacich disappeared. - Prosecutors highlighted that Janet Kovacich had recently undergone breast augmentation surgery and was not able to drive nor was she in the condition to walk for an extended distance. - In October 1995, a Colfax area couple was walking along a nearly empty Rollins Lake reservoir and noticed an object partially buried in the ground. A closer look revealed the object was a partial human skull with a hole in its right side. Prosecutors said it was about a 25-minute drive from the Kovacich’s Auburn home to the lake if traveling on Interstate 80 and then paved country roads. - In 2007, DNA tests proved it was Janet Kovacich’s skull found at Rollins Lake. - In October 2008, the trial began and in January 2009, Paul Kovacich Jr. was convicted.