Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Woman Who Shoved Beloved Singing Coach Pleads Guilty to First-Degree Manslaughter

City Council member Erik Bottcher just shared this update on a case that horrified New Yorkers:
Lauren Pazienza pleaded guilty on Wednesday to first-degree manslaughter for fatally shoving Penn South resident Barbara Maier Gustern, a beloved, 87-year-old Broadway singing coach last March. Pazienza reached an agreement with the Manhattan district attorney’s office to serve eight years in prison and five years of post-release supervision. I want to thank the Manhattan DA and NYPD for their work on this case. While this will not bring Barbara back, I’m grateful that her killer is being brought to justice.

The AP reports:
Lauren Pazienza, 28, teared up in court as she admitted randomly attacking Barbara Maier Gustern on March 10, 2022. Gustern, whose students included Blondie singer Debbie Harry, lay bleeding on a sidewalk as Pazienza walked away, prosecutors said. Gustern died five days later. 

“Today’s plea holds Pazienza accountable for her deadly actions,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. 
Gustern’s relatives, some of whom were in court, said they were disappointed with Pazienza's plea deal and agreed-upon prison sentence -- a fraction of the maximum 25 years she would've faced if convicted at trial.
At the risk of sounding like my mother, I hope Pazienza uses her time behind bars to think about how her unbridled rage and utter disregard for human life hurt so many.

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