MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: On Tuesday, July 19, Lauren Pazienza, a 26-year-old Long Island woman accused of shoving an estimated 87-year-old singing teacher to death on a Manhattan street, refused one of the Prosecutors offered a plea deal that could have resulted in a second 15-year prison sentence. Pazienza appeared in court handcuffed on Tuesday and rejected the settlement.
Manhattan prosecutors reportedly twice made Pazienza an offer to accept a plea of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the March 10 death of Barbara Maier Gustern in exchange for the proposed sentence. She also failed to have her manslaughter conviction dropped, according to the New York Post. She could spend up to 25 years behind bars.
In an unprovoked attack on Chelsea’s West 28th Street on March 10, Pazienza, a former event planner and heir to a Long Island cesspool empire, is accused of calling the elderly woman a “slut” and pushing her to the ground. Gustern, a vocal coach for artists including Blondie frontwoman and New York legend Debbie Harry, died of her wounds on March 15 five days later.
Naveen Pereira, who is this?
Pazienza was with her fiancée Naveen Pereira, a consultant at Microsoft, on the night of the event. Pereira told prosecutors they were preparing for their wedding at nearby Chelsea Park. Pazienza had “a lot of glasses of wine,” he added. After having a few glasses of wine, Pazienza lost his cool and told the couple to leave because it was closing time, according to Assistant District Attorney Justin McNabney. And even before the incident, they got into a fight.
Pazienza’s neighbor, who is 38, called her “a really angry person” and “someone who really doesn’t process the idea that other people have feelings and consideration and doesn’t process the concept that there’s a world outside of them.” “. The neighbor also mentioned the clashes between Pazienza and Pereira. You hear her and her fiancé yelling at him, he said. “The fiancé would never speak to you. According to The New York Post, you would only hear them scream.
When the event happened, Pazienza and her fiancé were out with friends to mark the 100-day countdown to their June 18 wedding (Zola/Lauren Pazienza).
Following news of her arrest, Pazienza’s former Fashion Institute of Technology classmates claimed to DailyMail that she had repeatedly abused her then-boyfriend, Naveen Pereira. They continued, “She cheated on him countless times.” When I first met him, he was shy and friendly, but he also seemed irritated and afraid of her. They said that in their description, Pazienza was “a highly manipulative person.”
In court, Lauren Pazienza advanced her case
According to prosecutors, after learning of Gustern’s death, Pazienza left New York for her parents’ Long Island home, deleted all of her social media accounts, including her wedding website, stopped using her cell phone, and kept it at her aunt’s house. Despite the considerable resources used to track her down, McNabney said she managed to evade capture for nearly two weeks.
Pazienza was arrested about two weeks after the incident and released on $500,000 bail, but was taken back into custody on May 10 after Judge Felicia Menin declared her a “serious escape risk.” According to The Post, the 26-year-old Long Island native dismissed her first lawsuit in April on two counts of second-degree assault and one count of first-degree manslaughter based on the Gustern murder.
On May 10, Lauren Pazienza appeared in court in Manhattan. She denied responsibility for the death
At the time, Mennin stated, “I’m concerned that Ms. Pazienza is a flight risk and a major flight risk.” “It seems [the shove] was done for no apparent purpose. In that incident, the victim was reportedly left lying on the sidewalk. The defendant left the scene,” Mennin said. She could spend a lot of time in prison if found guilty. While it may not appear so now, I have grave concerns as the case progresses that this may affect her desire to appear in court again.
Arthur Aidala, Pazeienza’s lawyer, sought to drop the main charge of manslaughter against his client. Citing the minutes of the grand jury session that led to Pazienza’s indictment, Acting Manhattan Superior Court Justice Felicia Mennin confirmed the allegation. “Obviously we are saddened by the judge’s verdict,” Aidala told The Post. “We believe that pushing someone once, regardless of age or disability, is at the level to meet the requirements for first-degree manslaughter. We will continue to work as hard as we can to achieve justice. During the brief court hearing on Tuesday, July 19, McNabney stated that prosecutors were still awaiting the results of Gustern’s final autopsy.
How did Barbara Gustern fare?
Pazienza, 26, is accused of calling Gustern a “bitch” and pushing her onto the sidewalk as she was driving down West 28th Street on March 10 and away on March 15. Hundreds of mourners had gathered outside the Church of the Holy Apostles where Gustern was violently attacked. A bell rang 87 times, one for each year of Gustern’s age.
The program for the service said: “Eight decades of unsurpassed integrity and love lost to a random act of senseless brutality,” noting that Gustern was attacked “from a window view of her home in Chelsea,” according to The Post. The rector of the church, Rev. Anna Pearson, reported that Gustern recently spoke about the difficulties of a career in the performing arts and how she would feel depressed if she wasn’t employed.