A 26-year-old woman accused of pushing an 87-year-old Broadway singing coach onto the sidewalk and causing her death during a “wine rampage” has turned down a 15-year plea deal, signed for the second time by was offered to the prosecutor.
Lauren Pazienza appeared handcuffed in court Tuesday, where she turned down the plea deal woke up Office of Manhattan Attorney Alvin Bragg. Her charge of manslaughter was not dropped either New York Post. You face up to 25 years in prison.
That NYC The event planner is accused of launching an unprovoked attack on Barbara Gustern on March 10 as she crossed the street to catch a taxi outside her Chelsea home. The event planner is said to have called the elderly woman a “b***h” and pushed her to the ground. She died of her injuries five days later.
In April, she was charged with manslaughter and pleaded not guilty. According to the Post, she has since been held on Rikers Island after a judge revoked her bail.
On Tuesday, Pazienza’s attorney Arthur Aidala told the Post he was disappointed that Manhattan Superior Court Justice Felicia Mennin refused to drop the manslaughter charges.
Lauren Pazienza appeared handcuffed in court Tuesday, where she rejected the plea deal from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. She has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter after being accused of pushing Barbara Gustern, 87, and causing her death
Pazienza is accused of launching an unprovoked attack on Barbara Gustern on March 10 as she crossed the street to catch a taxi outside her Chelsea home. The event planner is said to have called the elderly woman a “b***h” and pushed her to the ground. She died of her injuries five days later
Pazienza’s parents appeared in court hand in hand, where their daughter appeared for the first time in three months
At Tuesday’s hearing, Pazienza appeared in court handcuffed and wearing a medical mask, her red hair tied back in a low bun. Her parents, who walked hand in hand into the courtroom, supported her.
Pazienza has been held on Rikers Island since May, when Judge Mennin refused to grant Pazienza the right to bail, claiming she was a “risk”.
“I’m concerned that Ms. Pazienza poses a flight risk — and a serious flight risk at that,” Mennin said at the time. ‘Apparently [the shove] was for a random reason. The victim in this case was apparently left lying on the sidewalk. The accused walked away.’
Mennin continued, “If convicted, she faces a significant prison sentence. While that may not reflect reality at this point, as the case progresses I have serious concerns that it may affect her desire to return to court.
On the night of the attack, Pazienza was celebrating the countdown to her wedding with her fiancé, Naveen Pereira, visiting several art galleries in Chelsea.
The couple had 100 days until the big day and were scheduled to tie the knot on June 18.
Pazienza drank several glasses of wine from numerous galleries before the pair went out to eat in a Chelsea park. The two were enjoying their meal when a park worker approached them and said they had to leave because the park was about to close.
“The defendant became angry, began yelling and verbally abusing the park attendant, threw her food at her fiancé and stormed out of the park,” McNabney said.
Pazienza and her fiancé were celebrating the 100-day countdown to their wedding scheduled for June 18 when the incident happened. Pazienza had many wine classes before he threw a tantrum
Pazienza and her fiancé headed in two different directions, with Pereira heading towards the Astoria apartment the two shared, he told prosecutors. Meanwhile, Pazienza headed toward West 28th Street near Eighth Avenue, where she bumped into the vocal coach.
Meanwhile, the victim, Gustern, had finished rehearsing nearby when Pazienza allegedly called her a “b***h” and pushed her onto the sidewalk.
Pazienza called her fiancé after the incident and allegedly watched as an ambulance arrived to help Gustern and carry her away, according to prosecutors. Gustern died in hospital five days later.
Pazienza walked past Barbara Gustern, 87, as she called her a “B***h” and nudged her into the cement. Pazienza angrily called her fiancé before watching as paramedics took Gustern to the hospital, where she died five days later
Police searched for Pazienza after surveillance footage near the scene showed her walking down the same street where Gustern was pushed moments later. Pazienza fled to Long Island for 11 days before surrendering to police. She was charged with manslaughter and assault
Prosecutors say Pazienza made no mention of putting Gustern on her fiancé.
“Instead, she started arguing with her fiancé, accusing him of ruining her night,” a prosecutor said. “Finally, just before they went to bed that night, the defendant turned to her fiancé for the first time and told him that she had pushed someone. She said she thought the person had fallen and walked away.”
Pazienza told her fiancé that she pushed Gustern because she might have said something to her, but she wasn’t sure.
After the incident, Pazienza fled to her parents’ Long Island home and deleted her social media accounts and wedding website.
She was free for 11 days after the incident before turning herself in after the NYPD released photos asking the public for help with identification.
She was charged with assault and manslaughter and was released on $500,000 bail until May, when a judge revoked her bail because she posed a risk of absconding.