A Plainview mother who admitted to an unthinkable crime pleaded guilty last week.
Veronica Cirella, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the 2011 death of her 8-year-old daughter, Julie. With an expected sentence of 12 years in prison, Cirella is due back in court on June 30.
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the guilty mother’s court confession.
“Julie Cirella’s young life was cut tragically short by the one person who should have protected her, her mother,” Singas said. “I commend our prosecutors for their dogged commitment to bringing justice for the young victim in this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julie and her loved ones.”
According to the district attorney, on July 23, 2011, the day that 8-year-old Julie was supposed to be the flower girl at her uncle’s wedding, the uncle found both the child and her mother Veronica in their home. Veronica Cirella was found unconscious with a wire tied around her neck, and her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy and was disabled, was found unconscious and not breathing.
An AMT declared Julie dead at the scene. Veronica Cirella told the police that she gave her daughter candy containing a peanut by-product knowing that her daughter was allergic to peanuts. She also claimed that she gave her daughter Benadryl and an “EpiPen” after her daughter had an allergic reaction. However, no Benadryl or contents of an EpiPen were found in Julie’s system.
The medical examiner’s office determined that Julie died of asphyxiation, but could not determine what caused the asphyxiation.
Cirella left a suicide note asserting an intention to kill her daughter, the DA said, adding that in court, she admitted to performing an act with the intention to cause serious physical injury to her daughter, which caused her daughter’s death.