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Cops and Courts

Janet Tyburski pleads guilty to daughter Rachele's killing, sentenced to 19 years to life

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    Janet Tyburski, right, smiles at friends and family gathered in court during her plea and sentencing hearing Wednesday. With her is Nick Hanek, her defense attorney.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    Janet Tyburski, right, sits with her defense attorney, Nick Hanek, during a plea and sentencing hearing in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA – Janet Tyburski may have confirmed Wednesday that a statement she made to North Ridgeville police about killing her daughter was true, but the 47-year-old woman stopped short of apologizing for causing her daughter’s death when she spoke just before being sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

“I so sincerely apologize to my family, friends, neighbors, the Lakewood community and the North Ridgeville community for putting them through this trial – this mess,” Tyburski said during a plea and sentencing hearing at the Lorain County Justice Center. “My actions were just egregious. Taking my daughter’s body – I was not in my right mind – and placing her in a field in North Ridgeville. For getting my other daughter – who was just going about her business in college – and involving her in helping to move her sister’s body.”

Police and prosecutors have said Tyburski suffocated 26-year-old Rachele Tyburski at the Lakewood home where they both lived with Rachele Tyburski's then-4-year-old son. Two days after the killing, authorities have said, Janet Tyburski and her other daughter, Hannah Tyburski, moved the body to a field near Victory Lane in North Ridgeville.

Rachele Tyburski's body was found behind a snow bank March 15, 2015. Janet Tyburski was arrested May 5, 2015, on murder and other charges. Hannah Tyburski, 21, is charged with obstructing justice and abuse of a corpse in the case.

In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Tyburski pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of tampering with evidence and one count of abuse of a corpse. The plea dismissed a charge of aggravated murder. The deal called for a sentence of 19 years in prison to life.

The sentence allows for the possibility of parole after Tyburski serves the 19 years.

“That 19 years is mandatory time. You are not eligible for early release,” Judge John Miraldi said to Tyburski before handing down the agreed upon sentence.

Miraldi also told Tyburski she was waiving her right to appeals.

Still, Tyburski wondered if she could be exonerated if new evidence is found years after she pleads guilty and is imprisoned. Miraldi said he could not advise her on those kinds of post-conviction matters.

The deal also resolves the case against Tyburski’s other daughter, Hannah, who in 2015 was an Oberlin College student called by Tyburski to help her dump her dead daughter’s body in the North Ridgeville field. The state will offer Hannah Tyburski a plea that calls for her to plead guilty to one count abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor offense.

“We won’t go beyond that now or in the future,” Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Paul Griffin said. “It is not our intention to seek any other charges with respect to her now or in the future.”

Griffin also wanted Janet Tyburski to admit on the record that she did confess to the crime to North Ridgeville police.

“Yes, I will affirm that I am taking the plea today because I made that statement to the North Ridgeville Police Department,” she said.

When Griffin asked if the statement was true, Tyburski said yes.

Tyburski thanked Miraldi for his patience through the trial and the staff at the Lorain County Jail for helping her to heal “spiritually, emotionally and mentally.”

“They have been just wonderful,” she said.

She also thanked her mother-in-law and a male friend, both of whom were in the seventh floor courtroom.

“Everyone has been such a blessing throughout all of this,” Tyburski said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.



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