Legal team vows no days behind bars for Karen Sypher

Karen Sypher
Karen Sypher
James Faller
James Faller
Jacob Wise
Jacob Wise

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Even though a federal judge sentenced Karen Cunagin Sypher to seven years, three months in a federal prison, her defense team has vowed to appeal and says she will not spend a day behind bars.

"The Court of Appeals will speak loudly on their kind of issue. There is no way this can stand with this kinda misconduct," said Jim Faller, an investigator for the Sypher legal team.

Earlier in the day, protesters stood outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse for much of the day calling for justice for Sypher despite her August conviction for trying to extort $10 million from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, lying to the FBI and retaliation. Before her sentencing hearing Sypher told reporters she was positive.

"{I am} very grateful to God that I have my new team with me," said Sypher.

Sypher said she has been relying on them to reveal what she calls the truth.

"As much as I've been wanting to talk and they wouldn't let me before," said Sypher. "I don't have to right now because I have the right team that has all of the evidence that I've waited to tell for so very long."

In court, Sypher's legal team once again put the blame on her divorce attorney, Dana Kolter, saying it was his idea to try to get millions from Pitino.

"He called her a cash cow and a guardian angel and was going to get him out of all of his financial problems," said Faller about Kolter.

Then, Jacob Wise, Sypher's son, briefly testified. He said the list of demands was what Pitino offered.

"Mr. Pitino said I want to make your life better but I don't need to get this out in the public because the last thing I need is to be on 20/20," said Wise.

At the end of the day, Judge Charles Simpson III did not buy any of it.

"This is a serious crime because it involves serious money," said Simpson. "It is brazen, driven by sheer greed. Sentence should reflect seriousness of the crime."

"She didn't get her fair trial; and that's why we asked for a new trial and that's what she deserves 'cuz that's part of your amendments and your rights. You deserve a fair trial you deserve the right to speak you deserve a lot of things and I think that the government has just got so far into this that they can't back out now, they have to follow through with it," Wise said.

Simpson sentenced Sypher to 87 months. Her team's response was for her to voluntarily surrender, meaning she would report to a facility selected by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons at a later date. But U.S. Attorney John Kuhn wanted Sypher taken into custody immediately. Kuhn argued she was a threat to the community and said Sypher had filed a false police report involving a child. In November 2010, WAVE 3 reported Sypher claimed abuse allegations were not investigated regarding her and Tim Sypher's daughter. Simpson ruled Sypher did not have to immediately start serving her time.

"Karen obviously is pretty upset," Faller said. "She had her life scared out of her for the government to come in and do what they did at the last minute allege something about a child is outrageous."

Sypher's team claim misconduct and a conspiracy.

"Bottom line is we have a woman that's been raped," said Faller. "Now we're going to get wicked and go after the people that did it not talking about Pitino, but about the government."

After a nearly five hour sentencing hearing, outside the courtroom Sypher told reporters," I'm fighting 'til the end. Now they're attacking my daughter again. They've already murdered two. They're not going to murder the third one."

Besides being sentenced to 87 months in prison, Simpson ordered two years of supervised release with a restriction that she can't travel outside the Western District of Kentucky. Sypher was also ordered not to have any contact with Pitino, his family and anyone who testified at her trial.

We looked up the federal guidelines and found it generally takes a few weeks for a decision on when and where Sypher will serve her time.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.