Teen Charged in Mom’s Death Breaks Down in Court

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WILLOUGHBY-- 18-year-old Sabrina Zunich appeared before a judge Monday to face murder charges.

She’s accused of stabbing to death her foster mom, 41-year-old Lisa Knoefel, a Cuyahoga County social worker.

In court Monday, Zunich broke down when a judge read the charge against her. She stood in her blue jumpsuit, handcuffed, shackled and cried.

Her family and Knoefel’s family were both in the courtroom. She’ll be held at the Lake County Jail on $750,000 bond.

According to police reports, when investigators arrived at the residence on Chagrin Drive, in Willoughby Hills, around 1:15 Friday morning,  Zunich was standing in the hallway covered in blood and holding a knife. She didn’t resist police and she didn’t say a word.

Knoefel’s 13-year-old daughter called 911. Her 3-year-old daughter was found hiding in the closet.

Zunich, who is an honor student at Willoughby South High School, doesn’t have a criminal history, except for a theft charge in 2006. She had been living with the Knoefels for about a year and a half. She’ll be back in court on Wednesday afternoon.