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Pacing the room holding a knife he just used to stab two girls, killing one of them, Kristian Kovaleff told the other he was a “monster” who was “going to get 25 years”.
He was wrong about the latter.
The immature, Ted Bundy-obsessed murderer, who did not get the “thrill” he expected from killing a teenage girl, was sentenced to at least 26 years in jail.
Kovaleff, 21, eventually pleaded guilty to murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, after feigning symptoms of mental illness for almost two years.
The two 17-year-old girls, one who survived the December 2020 attack inside a Parramatta Meriton hotel room while celebrating the other’s upcoming 18th birthday, cannot be identified.
Kovaleff told the court what he thought it wanted to hear when he said he regretted it, Justice Stephen Rothman said.
“I do not accept, even to the lowest standard, balance of probability, the expression of remorse for his conduct,” the judge said, sentencing Kovaleff in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.
He planned to kill one of the girls in a Campbelltown motel the week before but said he did not have the “guts” and knew he could “psych (himself) up by watching Ted Bundy”.
Rothman said Kovaleff decided to wait a week and kill both girls after learning of their plans to spend a night together.
“The planning for one murder was quite deliberately broadened to two murders,” he said.
He killed the teenager a week later.
“I’m a monster, I just killed your best friend,” he told the other girl, whom he also stabbed as she blocked the door of the bedroom where her friend was dying.
“I’m going to get 25 years, I’m going to get a lifetime in prison,” Kovaleff said.
The girl he murdered could have survived if she had received prompt medical treatment, the judge said.
The other girl asked him to call an ambulance multiple times.
Instead, Kovaleff applied a makeshift bandage to the surviving girl’s wound, using a singlet and duct tape he had brought with him.
He was not trying to save her life out of remorse, Rothman said.
“He had wrapped the wounding victim with clothing and duct tape to keep her alive so as to have sex with her.”
Kovaleff eventually called for an ambulance, but hung up.
He told the operator someone else attacked the “one person dead and another bleeding out inside room 111” when they called back.
He conceded at a February sentence hearing his desire to have sex with the wounded girl and then kill her were “maybe not” unrelated urges.
She survived, after vomiting blood and spending eight days in hospital.
Kovaleff told forensic psychiatrists an “antenna” in his head picked up a signal from aliens telling him to depopulate the earth.
He finally dropped the act when one formed the opinion his self-reported symptoms were inconsistent and he was fit to stand trial.
Rothman said Kovaleff had expected to receive a “thrill” after killing the girl, and coupled with his preoccupation with US serial killer Bundy, that reflected his immaturity.
The murdered girl’s sisters told the court in February of the impact the “heartless” murder has had on their family.
One had to translate for her parents the news her sister had been brutally stabbed.
Her father sings sad songs and paces around the house crying, while her mother keeps returning to the library where she brought her daughter water as she studied the day before her death.
Rothman said the family’s loss was “indescribably horrible”, as were the injuries inflicted by Kovaleff.
In custody since December 2020, Kovaleff was sentenced to 34 years for murder, with a non-parole period of 24 years.
The wounding charge resulted in an additional two years he will spend in prison.
He is eligible for parole on December 19, 2046.