Veronica Cirella, 34, pleaded guilty in May to 1st-Degree Manslaughter. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison today by Nassau County Court of Claims Judge Philip Grella.
“Julie Cirella's young life was cut tragically short by the one person who should have protected her,” Acting DA Singas said. “While nothing can bring this young victim back, I commend our prosecutors and partners in law enforcement for bringing justice in this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julie and her loved ones.”
Acting DA Singas said that on July 23, 2011, the day that eight-year-old Julie Cirella 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 Cirella dead at the scene. Veronica Cirella told the police that she gave her daughter candy containing 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 Cirella’s system. The Medical Examiner’s office determined that Julie Cirella died of asphyxiation but could not determine what caused the asphyxiation.
Veronica Cirella left a suicide note asserting an intention to kill her daughter. In court today, she admitted to performing an act with the intention to cause serious physical injury to her daughter and that that act caused the death of her daughter.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Cepriano of Acting DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case. Cirella is represented by William Keahon, Esq.