A New York judge added six months to the sentence of a wealthy socialite who pled guilty to manslaughter earlier this month because the woman did not seem remorseful enough. Lauren Pazienza was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years for the death of an 87-year-old vocal coach whom Pazienza had shoved to the ground.
Pazienza avoided a jury trial that could have resulted in a sentence of 25 years by pleading guilty. She was seen in court breaking down in tears after learning that Judge Felicia Mennin added six months to her expected eight-year sentence.
Lauren Pazienza got an extra six months tacked onto her plea-deal sentence for her “apparent inability to take responsibility.” https://t.co/X4EWGJELrx
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 30, 2023
According to reporting from the New York Post, Mennin told Pazienza that her apparent “lack of remorse” was the reason for the additional time. Pazienza has issued two public apologies after admitting to unintentionally killing Barbara Maier Gustern.
The New York Post reports that Pazienza had given conflicted accounts about what transpired. She is said to have told investigators that she simply bumped into the victim rather than attacking her as prosecutors claimed in court. Video evidence of the incident confirms the prosecution’s version of events.
According to investigators, Pazienza had been celebrating 100 days to her wedding with her fiance in Chelsea on March 10, 2022, when the club they were drinking at closed. Enraged, drunk, and apparently high on drugs, including marijuana and possibly Xanax, Pazienza charged across the street and accosted Mennin. Prosecutors say that Pazienza called the 87-year-old vocal coach a vulgar name before shoving her to the ground.
Mennin struck her head on the concrete resulting in a profusely bleeding gash. She was transported to a local hospital, where she was determined to have suffered a traumatic brain injury. She died five days later.
According to records, Pazienza watched as the elderly victim was transported by EMS, then spent weeks hiding her tracks after realizing she would be charged with a crime. She is alleged to have deleted social media accounts and removed her wedding catering business website from the internet in an effort to conceal evidence from investigators.
The Daily Mail claims that several people who knew Pazienza in college claimed they were not surprised by the charges. Former friends claimed that Pazienza has a history of being derogatory toward disabled people and a habit of mocking people. One person even described her as the “poster child for White privilege.
Pazienza is the heiress of a cesspool draining service. People who spoke with Daily Mail said that Pazienza was never held accountable for her actions. Images posted on social media appear to show Pazienza mocking deaf people.
She has been incarcerated at Rikers Island for the last year and will now spend nearly eight more years behind bars. People who spoke with the media commented that the sentence seemed lighter than what they thought should be doled out for the unprovoked killing of an innocent person.