• BREAKING NEWS Shelter in place lifted after prisoner captured
  • BREAKING NEWS NYPD officer struck by vehicle during foot pursuit

Mom charged with murder in disabled girl's death

Veronica Cirella, of Plainview, was arraigned on second-degree murder charges for allegedly killing Julie Cirella by feeding the girl food she was allergic to.
April 4, 2012 2:08:29 PM PDT
A Long Island mother pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an upgraded murder charge in the death last summer of her 8-year-old disabled daughter.

Veronica Cirella, of Plainview, was arraigned on second-degree murder charges for allegedly killing Julie Cirella by feeding the girl food she was allergic to.

The 31-year-old Cirella was initially charged with manslaughter, but the district attorney would not discuss what new information warranted the upgraded charges.

Judge David Sullivan ordered Cirella held without bail.

"The grand jury undertook an extremely comprehensive and thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the untimely death of Julie Cirella," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. "After hearing from many witnesses and Ms. Cirella herself, the grand jury returned an indictment for murder in the second degree. Every child's death arouses strong emotions, but prosecutors must evaluate the evidence objectively, and regardless of how difficult the defendant perceived her circumstances to be, taking her daughter's life was unjustified."

Authorities say that after killing her daughter, Cirella tried to kill herself. She left a note that said Julie, who had cerebral palsy, "should die."

Julie was found dead hours before she was set to be a flower girl in a cousin's wedding.

Cirella's attorney says she should be released on bail. He says the medical examiner hasn't yet determined the cause of Julie's death.

---
Get Eyewitness News Delivered

Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters | Text Alerts


Load Comments