MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 41-year-old West St. Paul woman has been sentenced to over 20 years in prison for murdering her aunt, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.
On Friday, Divina Sulentich was specifically sentenced to 261 months in prison, which is nearly 22 years, in connection with the July 2017 strangulation death of Mary Sulentich, 60, also of West St. Paul.
Sulentich pleaded guilty on Aug. 29, 2018 to one count of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditated.
Divina Sulentich is accused of strangling her aunt on July 8 or July 9 when her aunt threatened to tell others about Divina’s illegal purchase of Vicodin and from whom she was purchasing it from. She allegedly broke her aunt’s cell phone before strangling her on a bed.
“This is a domestic-related assault that senselessly resulted in the loss of a life in our community,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. “We are pleased to have brought Divina Sulentich to justice for this violent crime.”
Authorities say the medical examiner determined the victim’s cause of death to be fractured thyroid cartilages on each side of her neck, which is consistent with manual strangulation.