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Woman who fatally shoved 87-year-old vocal coach to the ground in New York sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison

By Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN

(CNN) — The woman who fatally shoved an 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach in New York was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison and five years post-release supervision, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed to CNN.

Lauren Pazienza pushed vocal coach Barbara Gustern to the ground on the evening of March 10, 2022, and according to a criminal complaint, there was “no apparent reason” for the attack. The district attorney’s office had previously announced the details of Pazienza’s plea agreement when she pleaded guilty in August.

Pazienza was walking from Chelsea Park when she crossed a street and shouted obscenities at Gustern and then “intentionally shoved her to the ground,” causing her to fall directly on her head, the DA’s office said previously.

The fall caused a “massive hemorrhage” to Gustern’s brain, according to the district attorney’s office.

Pazienza walked away while Gustern was on the ground bleeding from her head, prosecutors said.

Gustern died five days later after she was removed from life support, the district attorney’s office said.

The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner concluded the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, according to the criminal complaint.

“Barbara Gustern’s sudden, violent death at the hands of Lauren Pazienza left a family and community in mourning,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement to CNN Friday night.

“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.”

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