A woman who pushed an 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach – which ultimately led to the elderly woman’s death – was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison and five years post-release supervision.
Lauren Pazienza, 28, was indicted in May for “fatally pushing” Barbara Gustern to the ground in New York City on 10 March, 2022, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office previously wrote. She pleaded guilty in August to one count of manslaughter in the first degree.
Her plea agreement, as laid out by the DA in August, said that she would serve eight years in prison followed by five years of supervised release; but the judge on Friday added six months to her sentence, saying she was unconvinced that the 28-year-old took responsibility for her actions after making the fatal move.
“Barbara Gustern’s sudden, violent death at the hands of Lauren Pazienza left a family and community in mourning,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told CNN on Friday.
Mr Bragg added, “There is nothing that can bring her back, but I hope that the resolution of these proceedings can provide some sense of closure amid her loved ones’ ongoing grief.”
Pazienza apparently crossed the street around 8.30pm, shouted obscenities at the vocal coach “and then intentionally shoved her to the ground.” The push caused “a massive hemorrhage” to her brain; she was bleeding from her skull when Pazienza walked away.
The Manhattan DA called the incident a “senseless and unprovoked attack.”
Mr Bragg added, “Barbara Gustern was a beloved vocal coach who lived a vibrant and active life at the age of 87, and her loss was felt deeply by many throughout the city. After allegedly walking away from Ms. Gustern as she laid on the ground bleeding, Lauren Pazienza went to great lengths to avoid accountability for her actions.”